University releases annual enrollment snapshot, enrollment sees modest growth

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s overall enrollment saw a small increase in the past year, as the number of students at University Park, several Commonwealth Campuses, the law schools and World Campus increased slightly, according to the annual snapshot.

University-wide, fall 2016 semester enrollment stands at 99,133, an increase of 1,639 students from last year. At University Park, 47,261 students are enrolled for an increase of 413 students from fall 2015.

The overall enrollment at the Commonwealth Campuses remained nearly flat, at 30,970 compared with 30,965 in fall 2015. Enrollment at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, grew by 239 students from 4,327 to 4,566; and the number of students at Penn State Harrisburg increased from 4,678 to 5,046, a 368-student change.

World Campus continues to experience growth. This fall saw 13,411 students studying online, up from 12,242 students the year before, including 1,031 pursuing associate’s degrees, 6,458 pursuing baccalaureate degrees and 5,492 pursuing graduate degrees. Another 430 students are enrolled as non-degree.

Robert Pangborn, vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education, said the enrollment numbers are in keeping with the expansion of four-year programs at campuses, the number of applicants Penn State continues to attract and the demand for online learning, which World Campus meets.

“Enrollment at the University’s Commonwealth Campuses remains strong, with several campuses seeing growth. At the same time, World Campus enrollment shows no signs of slowing,” Pangborn said. “Also, the enrollments are in line with a shift away from associate degree programs, particularly at campuses, where the growth trend in four-year programs more than offsets the decline.”

The University’s two law schools both show enrollment increases this year, with Dickinson Law up by 55 students at 123, and Penn State Law up 211 to 388. Additionally, 201 students are completing their study in the “unified” structure in place before the campuses began to operate as two independent, fully accredited law schools.

The College of Medicine saw a modest increase of 18 students, from 878 to 896.

Penn State continues to be an increasingly diverse University. University-wide, including World Campus, 20,502 students or 20.7 percent are from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. The proportion of undergraduate students who come from Pennsylvania stands at 70 percent, not including the World Campus and Pennsylvania College of Technology. International enrollment continues to grow, with international students University-wide, including World Campus, making up 10 percent of total enrollment compared to 9.5 percent last year.

In response to an unexpectedly high number of students accepting admissions offers at University Park this year, the University offered a “1 + 3” option to a number of students. The University saw 298 students participate in the financial aid program, which provided increased aid for students who opted for a Commonwealth Campus in their first year.

Detailed information about enrollment is available on the University’s Fact Book website

Last Updated November 18, 2016