ESU’s 2016 Enrollment Increases to 6,830
Enrollment at ESU has increased for the third consecutive year. While the final enrollment number, 6,830, is only a few more students more than last year, ESU is one of three universities in the State System that saw an increase in enrollment in 2016.
ESU’s total Fall 2016 enrollment includes 660 transfer students, 302 new graduate students and 1,356 freshmen. Members of ESU’s class of 2020 represent the largest entering freshman class in five years and an increase of 3.3% over last fall’s class of 2019. Twenty-two percent of new and continuing students are out-of- state residents with the majority from New Jersey and New York.
“ESU is becoming an attractive college choice for students due to the quality and relevance of our academic programs, the continuing efforts to minimize cost increases and the personalized attention available to students from faculty and staff,” said President Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D. “Without a doubt, ESU is one of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s most affordable and best values in higher education.”
In addition to enrollment growth, ESU’s Honors Program welcomed its largest group of new members since the program’s inception in 1988 according to Professor Paul Creamer, co-director of the Honors Program. ESU also proudly launched its first doctoral program for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration. The first cohort includes 18 students.
ESU’s most heavily enrolled majors reflect growing demand in specific job markets, among them business, biology, criminal justice and psychology as well as programs in the health sciences – exercise science, athletic training and nursing.
“ESU’s enrollment growth reflects the regional need to prepare well trained professionals. One specific example is the aging U.S. population and the emphasis on preventative care. The majors within ESU’s College of Health Sciences are well suited to provide varied productive career opportunities,” said Shala Davis, Ph.D., interim dean, college of health sciences.
Yet with enrollment growth there are also challenges. ESU currently houses 3,110 students on its campus, some in overflow housing due to increased demand. ESU sees this as an opportunity and is tackling the obstacle by moving forward with Phase II of its suite-style housing construction, now underway. The new 495-bed residence hall, which complements the design of the University’s Hemlock and Hawthorn suites, is expected to be ready by August 2017.
“Once the new suite-style facility is online, we’ll be taking some of the traditional residence halls offline, in rotation, for life cycle renovation and technology upgrades,” said Bob Moses, director of residence life and housing.
“This is all part of becoming a vibrant and well respected institution of higher education,” said President Welsh. “We have to be methodical and persistent in planning for the future while keeping the welfare of our students foremost in our minds.”