In its second year as a University, Plymouth State has seen its undergraduate enrollment increase by 171 students over last year’s total.
Twice each year, PSU takes an official census snapshot of undergraduate enrollment on a specific date called R+30. Last year, R+30 for the fall semester was September 30, at which time Plymouth State recorded 3,848 degree-seeking students as registered and identified. In fall 2004, at R+30 a total of 4,019 students were counted.
Of that 4,019 students, 2,119 have been accommodated in campus housing (47 more than last fall), 34 student teachers are living away from Plymouth, and 23 students who are receiving Plymouth State University credits are studying abroad in locations such as Limerick, Ireland and Seville, Spain. Many others commute to classes from their homes in other parts of the state.
University President Donald Wharton says, “We had not anticipated that enrollment would rise this quickly, but this is good for Plymouth State and good for the regional community because of the positive economic impact. Every retail merchant, every business, every landlord and every service enterprise benefits from the spending power of increased numbers of students. Community organizations benefit from student volunteerism and their research and expertise.”
Some of the enrollment growth can be attributed to the institution’s evolution from state college to regional university. There is more interest in PSU at college fairs, higher prestige afforded to the University, higher expectations from students accompanied by better motivation and higher-quality academic performance, and an increased national recognition level, according to PSU officials.
Vice President for Student Affairs Dick Hage says admissions were very strong this spring, so much so that recruiting was ended early. Hage says, “Interestingly, our admissions pool this year was about the same as last year, but the number of students who elected to accept our offer of admission to the University went up significantly. PSU is increasingly the first choice of admitted students, and more students are staying at Plymouth because they are successful here, so our retention rate continues to rise.”
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