New students move into Ohio University's Athens Campus.

Photographer: Elizabeth Held

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University enrollment picture looks strong

While final enrollment numbers are still a few weeks away, preliminary estimates suggest that Ohio University has been successful in its efforts to recruit an incoming class on the Athens campus with strong academic credentials and to strategically grow overall university enrollment.

The total Ohio University headcount is 36,808 as of Sept. 7, 2012, up approximately 1,300 from last year, according to preliminary numbers released by the Office of Institutional Research.

The University also saw an increase over last year in the average ACT score and GPA of incoming students on the Athens campus.

“Our faculty and staff are proud to welcome our new students on all campuses to the Ohio University family. We’re excited to help them realize the promise of the tremendous academic potential they bring,” said President Roderick J. McDavis.

Athens Campus Freshman Class

As of Sept. 7, 2012, 3,893 first year students were enrolled on the Athens Campus, up approximately 10 over last year. OHIO also saw an increase over last year in nonresident first year students of 100, approximately a 20 percent increase.

The average ACT of new students is 24.0, up 0.4 from last year. The average high school GPA is 3.40, up .07 from last year.

“I’m hearing from faculty and deans that they are very pleased with the level of preparation and engagement that our newest students are exhibiting,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit. “The hard work that the Office of Admissions, college staff members and faculty put into recruiting is evident in the caliber of our Athens campus freshmen.”

Overall Enrollment Trends

The total Athens Campus headcount enrollment is 21,514. Undergraduate student headcount, 16,981, is down about 350 from last year at this time. Graduate student headcount is 4,020 and is up about 300 from last year. Enrollment in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine increased 20 over last year to 511. The number of transfer students is 580, up 40 over last year. Regional campus headcount is over 10,000, up about 150 from last year.

Ohio University also continues to see steady growth in eLearning, both online and off-campus. The eLearning headcount is 5,196, up over 800 from last year.

“We continue to defy the odds when it comes to enrollment,” said Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Craig Cornell. “It is a highly competitive environment but students and their families continue to be attracted by the quality of an Ohio University education.”

Along with growth in some areas, all of the campuses are seeing the effects of the change to a semester system as they experience a dip in student full-time equivalent hours (FTE).

Undergraduate student FTE on the Athens campus, based on credit hours enrolled, is down about 1,700. Graduate student FTE is down about 200. Regional campus FTE is down about 600. FTE for all enrolled OHIO students on all campuses combined is down 1,300.

“These decreases are due to the quarters to semesters transition – 17 percent more bachelor’s degrees granted last year and students registering for fewer credit hours in their first fall semester,” explained Michael Williford, associate provost for institutional research. “This enrollment decrease impacts state subsidy earnings more than tuition, and it will be offset somewhat by the increase in degrees earned last year.”

Williford noted that the Office of the Registrar sent a reminder to continuing students that the normal semester load is 15 hours.

“We wanted to make sure that students, who may be still in the habit of thinking in a quarter mindset, understand that a 15 hour load is important for timely degree completion,” he said.