Gannon University has reached its highest total enrollment since the fall of 1991, amassing a current tally of 4,444 students.
For the second year in a row, Gannon has welcomed a class of over 700 freshmen, Bill Edmondson, the vice president for enrollment, said.
Last year saw the largest freshman class the school has seen in 35 years, with 762 student’s total.
These higher numbers match the current enrollment goals that Gannon has set in place.
One goal, Edmondson said, is to recruit around 750 freshmen per year.
Eventually, the school hopes to see a total enrollment of 5,000 students across both graduate and undergraduate programs.
The enrollment goals include a goal for reaching 1,300 graduate students.
Currently Gannon has a graduate school enrollment of 1,012.
This number is “just short of our goal,” Edmondson said. “As we move forward, we are developing strategies to combat this statistic and support further growth.”
Currently, strategies are in place to combat the global trend lowering overall student enrollments, Edmondson said.
This also helps to account for Gannon’s lower graduate student enrollment.
To reach its set of goals, the university plans to stay ahead of current trends. With this, Edmondson said he feels optimistic that these goals can be reached and a continued rise in enrollment can be sustained.
Looking at these numbers, it helps to see why some of the newest freshmen class chose to come to Gannon when there are so many other options out there.
For many of these new freshmen, Gannon seemed like the best option.
For Mikayla Vega, a freshman with an undeclared major, the decision to come to Gannon was based on atheletics.
Vega said she came to Gannon “to help grow the women’s wrestling team.”
Another freshman, Alyssa Stearns, a nursing major, came here for a slightly different reason.
“It was my first pick, and I got a lot of good scholarships,” she said.
This rise in enrollment stretches further than just freshmen and affects students across campus.
For students who’ve been at Gannon a little longer, they won’t see any immediate changes to the budget, Valerie Bacik, vice president for Planning and Finance, said.
“Growing enrollment has a multi-faceted impact on the budget and is not as simple as more students equal more revenue,” Bacik said.
Each year varies depending on what the students need financially.
Other budgets may have to counter a need to additional course sections, more student programming or more tutoring.
“We need to ensure the needs of all our students are met each fiscal year,” Bacik said.
At this point in the year, it is unknown if this increase in enrollment will show revenues larger than the budgeted goals, Bacik said.
If that is occurs, that excess revenue can be used this year or saved for a larger project – like a building renovation – in the future.