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Student rolls drop 5 percent at YSU from 2011

Published: Fri, September 7, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

Several factors cited as reason for decline

By David Skolnick



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.


1bmanresident(607 comments)posted 3 years ago

Good. Glad to see the prospective students waking up to the incompetence in administration YSU has to offer. (I can't bash the union or my comment gets deleted). Let's raise tuition so we can renovate ugly historical mansions. That's their motto.

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2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years ago

Hey the answer is we need to build more SPORTS Centers . more football .

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3Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years ago

WOW you are so smart . PLEASE tell us stupid ones what is going on . Please enlighten us poor lost stupid souls with the light of your super knowledge on YSU . We need to know as it seems to be going down hill .

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4UNCOMMONSENSE(550 comments)posted 3 years ago

gdog... a 1300 drop in student enrollment in 2 years is significant. To think that the university plays no role in that fact is stupid.

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5Spiderlegs(154 comments)posted 3 years ago

As a university, YSU is getting better. It is tightening standards for conditional enrollments and adding graduate programs, both signs of rigor. This probably means that a smaller but better student body. I am a fan. No pain, no gain.

YSU has the lowest tuition of any research university in Ohio, so it is hard to say that the tuition increases are out of line, since it costs much more to go elsewhere if you want this type of education. You can always go to a lesser class of school if you find the YSU tuition too high, but YSU does well on price versus its peers. However, if the school's revenues are in decline, it is hard to see how the school can justify some of its proposed construction projects at this time.

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6Owlguin(49 comments)posted 3 years ago

The disussion about the new enrollment policy doesn't make sense. YSU had an open enrollment policy, so those with higher test scores would get in anyway. Is the writer trying to say that they have finially stopped their open enrollment policy so some students with lower scores were not admitted? If that is a reason for the decline in students, it's a good reason.

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7Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years ago

Thank you for giving a good reason OWL @

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8DwightK(1399 comments)posted 3 years ago

"The policy, started this fall, requires those with higher high school grade-point averages and ACT scores to be admitted unconditionally."

Is this a nice way of saying people with low high school GPA's must meet enrollment conditions that those with high GPA's do not?

Is that why enrollment is down?

And is that decrease in enrollment the cause for a rise in tuition?

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9Tigerlily(508 comments)posted 3 years ago

Have any of you brainiacs considered the fact that we now have a community college in the area, where students can take classes more cheaply and do their remedial work and first year of general education coursework, might be affecting YSU's enrollment? Because, you know, it's cheaper, and it's mission is to prepare students to move on to a comprehensive university like YSU?

There is never ONE reason why a university loses enrollment over time. Consider multiple factors. Rise in tuition (which is happening at EVERY university in Ohio and in most states, as states defund education), creation of new community college for the same region YSU serves, and loss of population in the area in general. There are at least those three factors.

There are probably several more.

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10mrblue(1142 comments)posted 3 years ago

The president had all of her excuses ready. It is what it is. Now the fat cats on the board will have to deal with it. Is there another hike in tuition coming? When is enough---enough?

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11southsidedave(5126 comments)posted 3 years ago

Enrollment at colleges and universities is down throughout the State of Ohio, not just YSU...it has nothing to do with "higher tuition" or "incompetent administration" that were mentioned in earlier posts.

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12RickJude7496(16 comments)posted 3 years ago

Anyone wonder if the drop in enrollment has anything to do with the fact they do criminal backgrounds on certain people applying for admission now?

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13Spiderlegs(154 comments)posted 3 years ago

@OWL: Yes, the new enrollment policy is a good thing.

The strategy works like this: As an open admissions institution, YSU attracts a group of students who are not well prepared for college, and these students often fail when they arrive in college. (This is what open admissions institutions do, not just YSU.) YSU has its share of high quality students, but this kind of student does not come in large numbers to YSU and goes instead to places like OSU and KSU because the institutions have better reputations, even though they cost more.

YSU hasn't abandoned open admissions, but it is making it harder for the unprepared student to stick around. That student is very welcome at Eastern Gateway. In the short term, this means that YSU enrollment numbers drop. The losses in enrollment at this point are purely a revenue issue--purging the dead weight means institutional quality rises.

Once word gets out that standards at YSU are rising, I believe that the hope is that students who otherwise bypass YSU for OSU and KSU will now consider YSU, and this is where the low tuition makes YSU very attractive. This keeps coming up: Some of the best students in the Valley are leaving for college elsewhere. An improved YSU makes staying here for college more appealing.

Obviously, we don't know if this strategy will work, but it is a good one. YSU should be applauded for taking this risk.

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14northsideperson(366 comments)posted 3 years ago

For starters, anyone that assumes that the Pollack House is being remodeled with tuition money doesn't understand the difference between capital projects/funds and operating funds. I can't take anything else they say seriously.

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15northsideperson(366 comments)posted 3 years ago

I may be wrong, but I'm thinking that the decision to renovate the Pollack House as a "presidential mansion" predates selection of Dr Anderson (who is local and doesn't need it to begin with) as president.

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