University sees modest enrollment growth

University Park, Pa. — Following yet another year of record applications to Penn State, the University is reporting modest growth in overall enrollment figures for fall semester 2008. Based on an annual "snapshot" taken at the end of the sixth week of fall semester classes, Penn State's 2008 enrollment for 24 campuses and the World Campus stands at 92,613, up from 90,609 a year ago. This figure includes all undergraduate, graduate, online, law and medical students. More than half, or 1,095, of the University-wide enrollment increase is associated with students studying online and enrolled exclusively in World Campus course offerings.

The University Park campus saw an increase in enrollment of 1,189 students, to 43,272. In addition, 840 students are enrolled in various Education Abroad programs, internships and co-ops, and other off-site programs. Dickinson School of Law enrollment for fall semester 2008 stands at 643.

"The enrollment at University Park continues to reflect the impact of the large entering class in 2006 when the yield on offers of admission at all campuses was uncharacteristically high," said Rob Pangborn, vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education. "The students in this cohort are now juniors and will continue to affect the University Park numbers until they graduate next year."

Enrollment at campuses outside of University Park also grew, from 33,149 in fall 2007 to 33,393 this fall. "Last year's enrollment at the Commonwealth Campuses was the highest ever, and this year's is even better," said John Romano, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses.

Minority enrollment also has increased University-wide, including World Campus and Penn College. Minority enrollments are up 5 percent over last year, with African-American student enrollments seeing an increase of 4 percent both at University Park and University-wide. Current African-American enrollment at University Park stands at 1,736, with 4,986 African-American students enrolled throughout the University.  Hispanic student enrollments have also increased by 4 percent at University Park and by 6 percent for the University as a whole, with a total of 2,950 Hispanic students enrolled throughout the University. The Asian/Pacific Islander student enrollment has increased 6 percent, and the Native American enrollment at the University is consistent with last year.

"We've seen a consistent increase in minority enrollments over the past decade," said Terrell Jones, vice provost for Educational Equity. "Penn State continues to be one of the main educators of minorities in Pennsylvania higher education. The real keys to our enrollment success are our high minority student retention and graduation rates." According to the most recent figures released by the NCAA, Penn State's graduation rate for African-American students stands at 72 percent, well above the average of 46 percent for NCAA Division I schools.

"Our continued high enrollments are a testament to the value placed on a Penn State education," said Pangborn. "Penn State received more than 101,000 applications for this academic year, a new record high total. Even in this difficult economy, we've already received more than 14,600 applications for next year."
 

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Last Updated October 21, 2011