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 SRU Enrollment Hits All-time High; 7,928 Taking Classes 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


             SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. –  With 7,928 students attending fall classes for the 2004-05 academic year, Slippery Rock University has set an all-time student enrollment record and continues its enrollment growth trend for the fifth consecutive year.Credit hours undertaken are also at an all-time high of 110,524, up from last year’s record 106,334.

          Based on the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education standard of setting the semester’s official enrollment on 15th day of classes [Sept. 21], SRU’s fall semester enrollment shows nearly a 2 percent increase over last year. The number beats the previous high of 7,925, set in 1991, by three students.

          “We had planned for a 1.5 percent growth, but welcome the 2 percent growth as more and more high school graduates and transfer students see the increasing value of a Slippery Rock University degree,” said President Robert Smith. “We are also proud that more academically talented students are applying to Slippery Rock University allowing us to even further increase academic rigor in the classroom, integrate the classroom with experiential learning and engage our students in individualized intellectual experiences.” The president said in addition to graduating students, the university is also helping create “competent, caring capable citizens.”

           The current year also includes a jump in out-of-state enrollments to stand at 423. SRU’s new non-resident tuition reduction plan, approved last summer by the state system, is credited with helping boost out-of-state enrollment. The increase represents 66 students over 2003-04. Out-of-state applicants as freshmen or transfer students who bring with them a cumulative grade-point-average of3.0 or better and enroll as full-time students can receive a 40 percent tuition discount on the out-of-state-rate. The out-of-state discount is retained as along as the student retains a 3.0 or higher grade-point average at SRU.

           Under Smith’s leadership as provost and vice president of academic affairs, interim president and as president, the university launched a detailed plan to address enrollment. SRU had faced an eight-year enrollment decline to a low of 6,803 in 1999 before beginning its five-year enrollment increase.

           Official numbers for the year show SRU continues to enroll more women than men, 4,527 to 3,401 and the year’s headcount for African Americans continues to increase to stand at 330 this year compared to 296 a year ago, representing a 11.5 percent increase. The university’s enrollment of Hispanic students also continues to rise, showing a 28.8 percent gain this year.

          While SRU’s International Initiatives Program remains strong, especially in helping students study abroad, the on-campus enrollment has declined in the last several years due in large measure to immigration policies restricting international travel for foreign students seeking to attend classes at SRU and other higher education institutions across the U.S. Delays in processing student applications at U.S. embassies around the world is also cited as slowing international student applications.

          “We continue to work with immigration officials and others who control entry of international students and hope that in the near future some of the restrictions will be eased allowing students who want to study at SRU permission to enter the country. We think it is very important, especially to our traditional students to have exposure to students from other cultures as part of their education,” said Dr. Donald Kerchis, director of the Office of International Initiatives.


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