Gannon achieves high enrollment numbers


Anna Malesiewski, Features Editor

Gannon University has achieved high enrollment figures compared to years past, even despite hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enrollment numbers are highest in university history, according to Haley Figurski, media relations and marketing manager at Gannon. At 4,705 enrolled students, this is the highest it has been since 1990, when Gannon was just coming off of a merger with Villa Maria School of Nursing.

Enrollment in the fall of 2020 was 4,249 students, and enrollment in the fall of 2019 was 4,444 students.

William Edmondson, vice president of Enrollment, forecasts a continued rise in enrollment figures in the future, despite a demographic cliff which is projected to occur in 2025 due to a decline in children born during the recession of 2008. Edmondson predicts an increase in enrollment in the spring 2022 semester as well.

“Gannon is growing and most schools aren’t,” Edmondson said. “We believe we will be one of the survivors and other schools might not.”

Gannon is still holding events and open houses, while many other schools have continued to put these on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even some high schools will not allow recruiters to enter their buildings or scout prospective students.


“We realized how important it is for students to get on campus and to have a feel for the university,” Edmondson said. “But we do have to comply with all CDC and state regulations and we will need to keep an eye on that to see how it plays out.”

Edmondson also said that international student enrollment has increased as well. In the fall of 2020, there were 88 new global students. This year, there are 458. The backlog in 2020 was created was created by COVID-19, and many students were unable to leave their respective countries.

However, this is still a decline from the 800 global students that were at Gannon in 2015.

Many schools pulled out of global business as a result of COVID-19, and Gannon vowed to be prepared when they came back. Gannon has been working to build up global enrollment since 2012, Edmondson said.

However, in 2016 with the transition from the Obama to the Trump administration, global student enrollment declined. For example, there were two individuals of Indian heritage slain in Kansas during the Trump administration, which caused many in India to view America as an unsafe place to travel. Students instead opted to travel to Enngland, Canada and Australia.

Since the transition to the Biden administration, global enrollment is back up again, Edmondson said.

Edmondson also said that male enrollment is decreasing both at Gannon and across the country. The male to female ratio at Gannon for the freshman class of fall 2021 is 45 to 55, respectively.

The health profession majors at Gannon tend to be predominantly female, which reflects the trend nationwide. This is counterbalanced by global male enrollment in graduate programs, especially in engineering.

Despite national and global downward trends in college enrollment, Gannon is still working to maintain an upward enrollment trend through trials caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will keep moving forward,” Edmondson said.


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