The number of students at Youngstown State University this fall is down 5 percent compared to last year.
It’s only the third enrollment decline since 2000 at YSU, but the second year in a row to see a reduction in number of students.
There are 13,813 students enrolled at YSU for this fall semester, the university reported Thursday. That’s down from 14,541 in 2011. The university had 15,194 students in 2010.
“There are several reasons for the decrease, including a continuing decline in the pool of high school graduates in the Mahoning Valley region and an improved local economy that has resulted in fewer adults seeking higher education,” said YSU President Cynthia Anderson.
About 80 percent of YSU’s student body comes from Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio and Mercer and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania.
Besides this year and 2011, 2005 was the only other year since 2000 to experience a decline in enrollment, according to YSU records.
Enrollment at YSU this fall is up 17.2 percent from 2000, a year in which the number of students attending the fall semester was 11,787.
The university has student “recruitment and retention efforts under way,” Anderson said.
The decline was expected by the university’s president.
Anderson told The Vindicator on July 2 that she expected enrollment to decline.
Besides the decline in population in the five counties that make up a majority of its student body, Anderson said in July that a new change to the admission policy for students with lower academic records would “impact our enrollment, but hopefully that will help with our” long-term success.
The policy, started this fall, requires those with higher high school grade-point averages and ACT scores to be admitted unconditionally.
Preliminary reports show enrollments are down at other Ohio public universities, including Toledo, Akron, Bowling Green and Wright State, according to YSU.