PSU a First and Lasting Choice for Students

October 3rd, 2005 by Adam

PSU a First and Lasting Choice for Students

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Plymouth State University’s climbing retention rates and selection as a first-choice school among first-year students are enabling the University to sustain its growth in undergraduate enrollment.

As of October 1, Registration Day plus 30 days (R+30), 3,956 full-time undergraduate students were enrolled, plus126 part-time students for a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,082. At this same time last year, there were 3,894 full-time students and 125 part-time students, making the total undergraduate enrollment 4,019.

“Students want to come to Plymouth State University and they want to stay at Plymouth State University. This is great news. It’s a sign of institutional vitality and health,” states PSU President Donald Wharton. “Our retention rate has risen from 63 percent in 1997 to 76 percent this fall, accounting for much of the increase in total enrollment.”

President Wharton continues, “The strong enrollment numbers over the past few years show that Plymouth State has completely rebounded from the decline in enrollment experienced between 1997 and 2001, due to the increase in admission standards implemented in 1997. Those standards brought into Plymouth State a student population who each year earned better grades, completed more credits and had higher retention rates.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Dick Hage notes, “It is important to remember R+30, a standard used across higher education, gives an overall snapshot of PSU’s enrollment and is greater than the total number of full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled. The University’s Master Plan uses 4,000 full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates as its planning number.”

Of the 4,082 total students, 2,178 are living in campus housing, an increase of 59 over last year. There are 43 student teachers living away from Plymouth and 54 are participating in PSU study away programs, both nationally and internationally.

Vice President Hage says everyone who wants to live on campus has on-campus housing. At the start of the semester, 60 students were temporarily housed in local hotels until all on-campus housing options could be finalized.

Hage says, “This year we stopped processing applications on April 1 because of the volume of applications we were receiving. You cannot get an accurate count of students until the semester starts, and even then it takes several days, even weeks, for everyone to settle in and decide PSU is the right fit for them. But it appears that more students are returning to Plymouth State, and want to live on campus. This trend reinforces the fact we are providing an academic and experiential environment where students can achieve their personal best.”