By Carol Biliczky
Akron Beacon Journal
Enrollment at the University of Akron is up a little, but isn’t growing as quickly as it has in the past.
About 29,600 students registered for classes that started on Monday — 1 percent to 1.5 percent ahead of last fall’s tally.
This year’s figure includes about the same number of freshmen — 4,800 — as the previous year, but a record number of 1,173 transfer students, 8 percent more than the previous year, said Bill Kraus, associate vice president of strategic enrollment.
Another bright spot is the number of credit hours that students are taking.
“That’s up for the third consecutive year,” he said.
The jury is still out on enrollment at many colleges and universities statewide, as classes at many others don’t start for another week or two.
The final enrollment picture statewide won’t jell until the 14th day of classes, or well into September. That is when tax-supported universities report their final numbers to the Ohio Board of Regents.
But Kent State expects to see another record year when classes begin Monday, spokesman Tom Neumann said.
With more than 41,000 students last year, KSU narrowly displaced the University of Cincinnati as Ohio’s second-largest university statewide.
Todd Jones, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, said he expects enrollment to be up overall at Ohio’s private, not-for-profit colleges, “continuing a 25-year tradition,” he said.
That apparently will not include the private Hiram College in Portage County, where 1,368 students, including 235 in the Weekend College, have enrolled for Monday’s classes, spokesman Tom Ford said.
That is the third-highest enrollment in the history of the liberal arts college, but it is about the same as the previous year.
At UA, enrollment has been climbing since fall 2006 but has yet to reach the institutional record of 30,243 set in 1989.