Enrollment for the spring 2021 semester is uncertain, even with the increase in university enrollment for the fall 2020 semester.
While overall enrollment increased, the incoming freshman class is significantly smaller than in recent years, with total freshman enrollment at 839 students.
“There’s no doubt that the impact was COVID-19,” Long said. “The number of students who deposited and then said they couldn’t come is significant.”
According to Kelley Wood, director of recruiting, expected enrollment numbers will be more accurate as the spring semesters get closer and more deposits come in.
“With the ever changing landscape with COVID, I don’t know if we really have a real solid idea of what to expect the spring right now,” Wood said. “It’s really hard to make any predictions about what’s going to happen, because we know that what things look like this week may look completely different next week.”
While it is uncertain how enrollment will look as the pandemic progresses on, current deposit numbers are similar to where they were at this time last year, according to Wood.
To encourage enrollment numbers for the spring and fall 2021 semesters, recruiting continues to have in-person interviews.
“Right now, we’re trying to recruit in a different way, so we’ve we’re doing a lot of things virtually as well,” Wood said.
As the pandemic changes the way that the university is able to recruit and students are able to participate in campus life, recruiting and enrollment will continue to adapt in order to accommodate students and keep enrollment numbers up.
“With predictions that 15-20 percent of college-bound students might choose not to enroll due to the pandemic, it’s even more exciting to see our total enrollment continue to climb,” Phil Schubert, president of the university said. “This represents significant effort on the part of faculty and staff who continue to adjust to a rapidly changing environment. I’m thankful and proud.”