Trustees hear report on enrollment, student aid

November 05, 2010

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's World Campus is responsible for the University's largest increase in enrollment for 2010-11, trustees learned today (Nov. 5). Enrollment of students studying exclusively online in the World Campus grew by 19 percent over last year, reported Rob Pangborn, vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education.

Pangborn was joined by Anne Rohrbach, executive director for Undergraduate Admissions, and Anna Griswold, assistant vice president for Undergraduate Education and executive director for Student Aid, in discussing fall enrollments and updates on admissions and financial aid during the trustees regular November meeting.

The University’s official enrollment census represents a snapshot of enrolled students taken at the end of the sixth week of fall semester classes. It shows that total enrollment for fall semester 2010 increased by 1,532 students, or about 2 percent, compared to last year. The total enrollment, just shy of 96,000 students, includes all undergraduate, graduate, online, law and medical students. World Campus enrollments account for 8,524 of the total, an increase of 1,386 over last year.

University Park enrollments remained relatively steady at 44,034 students. "An additional 783 students registered at University Park are either studying abroad, participating in internships and co-ops, or in other off-site programs including Continuing Education," Pangborn said.

Pangborn also reported robust enrollments at campuses outside of University Park. "This is the fourth straight year of more than 8,000 baccalaureate admissions at our Commonwealth Campuses."

Pangborn also reported:

-- The campuses have seen a significant jump in upper-division enrollments. Juniors and seniors remaining at the campuses number more than 9,000 for the first time.

-- This year Penn State has the largest international student enrollment at all levels in the University's history, topping 5,200 students.

-- Total minority enrollment continues to follow a 10-year pattern of year-to-year gains, and today accounts for about 16 percent of overall University enrollment.

More detailed information about Fall 2010 enrollment is available at online.

Looking at financial aid, Pangborn told the board that funding from all sources exceeded the $1 billion mark this past year, assisting more than 71,000 undergraduate, graduate, medical and law students. This represents approximately 76 percent of total enrollments at Penn State in 2009-10. "The majority of funding goes to our undergraduates, assisting just over 62,000 students," Pangborn said. Undergraduates received $896 million, or about 86 percent of all student aid funding from federal, state, University and private or outside funding sources.

Student loans made up 65 percent of all student aid funding to undergraduates in 2009-10, with grants contributing 25 percent and scholarships nearly 10 percent.

"Federal work-study funding comprises less than 1 percent of all student aid," Pangborn told the board. Also, he said these sources do not include part-time jobs that students secure on their own either on campus or in the community.

Pangborn reported that last year, approximately two-thirds of undergraduate baccalaureate students graduated with student loan debt, with the average debt just over $31,000. The latest information on student loan default rates shows a 3.4 percent rate for Penn State students, which is considerably lower than the national rate of 7 percent or the 6 percent rate for all four-year public schools. "In light of the economic conditions and the high unemployment rates across the country, our graduates are doing very well managing the repayment of their student loans," he said.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2015