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Student Enrollment Fluctuates

As the semester begins, new student enrollment has reached its highest percentage in six years. Not only does that make the college look good, but it also helps the budget.

Over the last few semesters, one reason for the drop in enrollment was the lack of evening classes and “hybrid classes.” A hybrid class is when a student meets the professor every two weeks to have face-to-face communication, but all coursework is done online.

With that, it allows students who have children or work full-time be more able to attend college. Now, there are more evening and hybrid classes available and, because of that, more students.

This year, the college offers a lot more evening classes, whereas in the past, most classes ended by 4:00 p.m. By adding evening classes, it gave students the ability to work or do what they need to do and go to school.

In 2010, WVU Parkersburg was at it’s all time high with a 20 percent jump in enrollment. The reason for the big increase was due to the plants shutting  down and people going back to school to pursue in another career field. When it was time for them to graduate, the enrollment decreased for a few years.

As of January 13, 2016 enrollment for the spring semester is up 24.9 percent. The overall percentage for enrollment is down 0.35 percent

Student Enrollment

“We are definitely moving in the right direction and the recruiters in the student welcome center department are doing a very good job, as well as the people in financial aid and student records and all of the counselors and advisors for bringing in new students,” Anthony Underwood, Vice President of Student Services, said.

Some of the programs that increased in enrollment are legal studies, business management, child development, nursing and journalism.

A good of part as to why the  new student enrollment is up is because of the advertising the college sends out. Whether it be an ad in the paper, on a commercial, or poster in the mall, all those methods help the college because it opens peoples minds about going back to or starting college.

The main goal is not necessarily getting new students, but keeping the current students at the institution. The way WVU Parkersburg is achieving this goal is by increasing counseling opportunities, hiring a benefits coordinator and the One Stop Shop. “With all the new things that are coming to the college, we believe that these things will help the enrollment and keep retention,” Underwood said.

The enrollment affects the budget in many ways. Since the college is a low tuition institution, if the enrollment goes down, that hurts the college. Recently the state has cut the funding by 25 percent and that is for every college in West Virginia. So when enrollment is low, it really hurts the institution. That is when a higher tuition is seen.

Since we are at a high point, the college staff and faculty are doing their best to keep the students in school and making sure that they are getting the help they need so that they can succeed.

by Russ Bunner

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