Enrollment figures steady for fall 2014 as methodology changes

October 15, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Baccalaureate enrollments are up by 2,132 University-wide, with 511 additional students at University Park, 703 at the Commonwealth Campuses, and 918 at other Penn State locations, according to official enrollment figures released today (Oct. 16). Overall enrollments, including undergraduate, graduate, law, medical, the World Campus and Penn College, stand at 95,973. Online learners enrolled this fall through the World Campus comprise 10,805 of the total, an increase of 1,174 over last year.

World Campus enrollment totals reported in previous years were for the full calendar year, in order to account for students registered in the spring and summer, as well as the fall. Beginning this year, the method for counting online enrollments has changed and the figures above reflect the change to using only fall enrollments for every student category. If the University were to continue using the previous method of counting, it would note an additional 4,240 students enrolled for 2014, bringing the University total to 100,213 — a 2.2 percent increase over the 98,097 enrollment that was reported last year under the previous method. 

"Going forward, we will be aligning the official fall census with the federal reporting standards for online programs," explained Rob Pangborn, vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education. "Similar to the counts used for enrollments in resident education, the new methodology endorsed by the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is to take a "snapshot" of students registered online exclusively in the fall. The 95,973 enrollment figure is consistent with that methodology, and the comparable number for fall 2013 using a fall snapshot was 94,441.”

IPEDS is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  During a designated period of time, IPEDS gathers information from every college, university and technical and vocational institution that participates in the federal student financial aid programs.

"The increase in baccalaureate enrollments at Penn State’s 19 undergraduate Commonwealth Campuses has been offset by continuing declines in associate, provisional and non-degree enrollments as students opt to pursue four-year degrees," Pangborn observed. "While the headcount is down slightly, this trend has led to a net increase in the full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollments at the campuses."

University Park undergraduate enrollment stands at 25,036 for in-state students and 15,505 for out-of-state students, for a total of 40,541. Commonwealth Campus undergraduate enrollment stands at 25,540 for in-state and 4,433 for out-of-state students, for a total of 29,973.

Graduate, medical and law enrollments, including World Campus, are 13,591 for fall 2014, an increase of 325 over fall 2013.

For a breakdown of enrollments by campus, click on the accompanying enrollment chart.

  • Enrollment chart

    This chart shows enrollment figures by campus for fall semester 2014.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 12, 2016