Rising enrollment numbers could translate into a budget windfall.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A solid increase in fall enrollment at Youngstown State University spells good news for the general fund budget.
University officials report that the preliminary fall enrollment number stood at 13,203 as of Thursday morning, well ahead of the 12,812 enrolled last year and also running ahead of YSU predictions for a fall enrollment of 12,913 this year.
The official fall count won't be done until next week, but the number isn't expected to drop.
The more important number, for budgetary purposes, is the full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment. Full-time is a credit load of 15 hours per semester and an enrollment of 12,913 full- and part-time students translates into an FTE number of 10,220. That's the number on which YSU has based its 2006-07 general fund budget of $135 million.
The 13,203 students enrolled as of Thursday translates into an FTE of 10,668, according to the university.
One FTE generates about $7,500 a year, which means YSU should realize an additional $3.3 million this year.
Budget concerns prompted the university to make a number of substantial cutbacks last school year, at one point projecting a $1.2 million budget deficit for this year.
Division heads were instructed to cut their budget proposals for 2006-07 by $1.5 million to compensate, and that followed earlier cuts by division heads to trim $1.2 million to offset a 2005-06 budget deficit.
University officials haven't made any plans yet on how any additional revenue generated by increased enrollment may be spent this year. YSU has to first be sure that the enrollment numbers hold.
Minority student enrollment continues to grow as the university focuses on diversity among its students and staff.
Preliminary figures show that the number of black students enrolled this fall reached 1,571, representing 13 percent of the student body and up 118 from a year ago.
Overall, total minority enrollment (including black, Hispanic and Asian-Pacific Islander students) has reached 2,075 or 15.7 percent of the student body this fall. That's up 221 from the same time last year.
The university reported that the number of minority employees rose to 153 out of a total of 1,086 employees as of June 30 of this year. That's five more than a year ago.