Despite a recession gripping Ohio and the nation, enrollment is up at Ohio University across the board, and the quality of students remains high.
"All told, Ohio University is the largest and best it has ever been," said Craig Cornell, vice provost for enrollment management. "We've seen growth in every college and regional campus, undergraduate numbers and graduate numbers."
The Ohio University Class of 2013 has more than 4,075 members, an increase of approximately 2.5 percent over last year, putting total enrollment at the university at more than 31,700. Final enrollment on the Athens campus is expected to top 21,000.
Preliminary enrollment across all of Ohio University campuses is up by approximately 2,050 students, or 6.8 percent, Cornell said. The largest increase occurred on the university's five regional campuses, with an overall increase of 1,300 students, or more than 16 percent.
"No doubt the economic downturn is a major factor for many new students as they have decided to invest in their futures," said Dan Evans, executive dean of regional campuses. "Naturally, we are quite pleased to see such huge enrollment increases across our regional campuses, and the numbers speak well of Ohio University's commitment to serve this part of the state."
Indicators show the quality of incoming students has also increased, with an average ACT score of incoming freshman at 23.76 compared with last year's 23.73.
"We saw a record number of applications this year -- over 14,200," Cornell said. "OU is a place where students' lives are transformed, and that shows in our graduation rates and that shows in our student success and students and families realize that it is a very special place and a good investment even in a tough economic environment."