By jeanne starmack
Youngstown State University’s enrollment has dropped more than anticipated, and the drop has budget implications, said a university spokesman.
Enrollment figures show a 3.11 percent drop from this time last year, said Ron Cole, YSU’s communications director.
Last year’s enrollment included 13,825 students, and this year, there are 13,395, Cole said.
The university had anticipated a drop in enrollment of 1 percent, Cole said, and that will affect the school’s budget.
“Every 1 percent decrease translates to a $1 million loss,” he said.
The difference in the anticipated drop and the actual figure, which is 2.1 percent, means a $2.5 million loss, he added.
“We are developing contingency plans,” he said, adding that details about those plans should be available within the next several weeks.
Cole said there are several reasons for the enrollment drop.
“There’s no simple answer,” he said. “There’s a variety of factors.”
“It’s cyclical,” he continued. “For 10 years, it was going up, and now it’s on the downside.”
Cole said a lot of universities are seeing the same cycle.
There also is a lot of competition for students, Cole said, including Eastern Gateway Community College.
This marks the third- consecutive year of YSU enrollment declines.
Cole said, however, the university believes there is positive news in the figures.
The numbers of transfer and graduate students are up, he said.
The school also is seeing a higher quality of student, he added, with ACT scores up.