Wednesday, November 28, 2012
As anticipated, St. Cloud State experienced an enrollment decrease from last year, according to 30th-day numbers released by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).
However, the university saw some niche increases, especially among students of color.
Enrollment for the seven MnSCU universities dropped 1.5 percent and remained virtually flat system wide, while headcount at St. Cloud State, the state’s second largest public university, dropped 4.5 percent (774 students) to 16,457.
“This was not unexpected and was less than anticipated,” said Devinder Maholtra, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “While we saw decreases overall, we did see positive increases among some segments.”
Enrollment among students of color continues to increase, adding to the diversity of a St. Cloud State education. St. Cloud State had a 1 percent increase to 2,184 students of color.
Among new entering freshman, 19 percent were students of color. There are 112 new honor students enrolled. Non-traditional students, ages 30-34, increased 3 percent.
“As with many colleges and universities, there are numerous factors leading to fewer enrolled students. We have seen indicators that point to economic hardships, decreased funding opportunities and students wanting to stay closer to home,” Malhotra said.
Many students who start their liberal arts educations at other state institutions, such as St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC), will likely transfer to St. Cloud State to finish their four-year-degree programs.
The University’s partnership with SCTCC accounted for 169 of this year’s 1,122 incoming transfer students. Transfer students make up about 40 percent of St. Cloud State’s total student population.
“Our goal looking forward is to increase our market share and total base of potential students by looking at all markets, from non-traditional students to military veterans to new entering transfers,” Malhotra said. “By doing this we will build a diverse population of students committed to learning and work toward closing achievement gaps.”