Déjà vu: SRU again enrolls largest class in school history

Students Walking on Campus

Slippery Rock University has set a new high-water mark by enrolling 8,895 students for fall 2017, an increase of 0.16 percent from last year, according to the University’s official 15th-day-of classes report.

Sept. 19, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - One year ago, Slippery Rock University was able to boast about posting the largest enrollment in the institution's 127-year history as 8,881 students were counted as members of Rock Nation.

Fast forward one year and SRU has set a new high-water mark by enrolling 8,895 students, an increase of 0.16 percent from fall 2016 according to the University's official 15th-day-of classes report.

Included in that figure is graduate student enrollment, which is up 3.29 percent along with increases in student headcount, full-time equivalency students and credit hours.

"Once again, our faculty and staff have proved to be some of the best recruiters around as the University is again able to celebrate a record-setting enrollment number despite the continuing demographic decline of high school graduates," said Philip Way, SRU interim president.

"I think these number are further evidence that we don't just talk the talk about 'experiencing the difference of a Rock Solid education.' Rather, they prove that we walk the walk and if immersing oneself in a caring community of learners is what students are looking for, SRU is truly the best choice for doing so."

"New academic programs, scholarships and a very vibrant living and learning environment are three things that combine to help set SRU apart from other institutions when you look at the higher education climate right now," said Amanda Yale, associate provost for enrollment management.

"We continue to create new academic programs that have a large market demand. There's a lot of research that goes into choosing what programs to create and which ones will be the right fit for a new student coming to SRU and that thoughtful and strategic approach continues to pay dividends for the University. We are building program options in which students can complete their baccalaureate degrees and earn an advanced degree in our 3+2 and 3+3 academic program options. These programs are in high demand and popular with our students."

The availability of scholarships continues to play a major factor in a student's choice of institution, Yale said, and SRU does it's best to improve its scholarship program. "Through scholarships supported by the University and the SRU Foundation, this academic year will see more than $4.2 million in academic scholarship monies provided to students," said Yale. "Those monies are a major financial resource for our students and families that help to reduce debt load in addition to recognizing student achievement."

Students at Slippery Rock University have long been able to take advantage of the University's Living Learning Communities. The LLC's provide students with what one would expect from a normal residence hall experience, but with the added benefit of living among like-minded students sharing similar academic goals and interests. That opportunity is another key factor is SRU's enrollment success according to David Wilmes, associate provost for student success. New this year is the addition of "success coaches."

"Every first year student will be assigned a dedicated student success coach who will provide a proactive and interactive space for students to navigate their SRU experience and become connected to University resources," Wilmes said.

"When perspective families and students visit our campus, they see current students, staff and faculty that very engaged and very personal with them," added Yale. "We include a high level of faculty and student success connections in our open house programming for prospective students and their families. By doing so we are providing those families and students authentic and real touch points for who we are as a caring community. Our goal is to provide students with a strong sense of engagement and belonging."

For fall 2017, SRU enrolled 7,638 undergraduate and a record 1,257 graduate students compared to 2016's enrollment of 7,664 undergraduate and 1,217 graduate students.

Total in-state enrollment increased by 45 students, offsetting a minuscule loss in total out-of-state enrollment compared to last year. Graduate student in-state enrollment increased 1.80 percent, to 1,076 students, while out-of-state posted a 13.38 percent, or 21 students, bump.

While undergraduate total credit hours generated are down slightly, dropping less than 1 percent at 0.68, graduate total credit hours generated are up by double digits at 12.12 percent.

New freshman enrollment is up by 33 students to 1,597, eclipsing SRU's previous institutional high of 1,586 from 2014.

SRU's FTE enrollment - a measure of how many students are taking full study loads that then generates a given number of credit hours - rose ever so slightly, 0.53 percent, to 8,352.

In addition, SRU's incoming freshman class has seen increases in overall high school GPA (3.43/3.39); and average SAT score (1,007/1,000).

There are 5,256 women on campus, down .06 percent and 3,639 men, an increase of .47 percent.

The University also showed diversity growth with increases in Asian (8.33 percent); Hispanic (3.09 percent); Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (12.5 percent); two or more races (14.44 percent) and Unknown (4.67 percent) students.

Day 15 credit hours totaled 122,626 as compared to 122,248 reported for fall 2016, an increase of 378 or .31 percent.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robb.king@sru.edu