The number of students enrolling in college has declined, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. It’s a trend that was happening even before coronavirus, and now it is continuing as universities prepare for fall classes.
Here in Montana, the University of Providence is actually seeing the opposite. Enrollment at the private institution has increased. UP enrollment staff say the overall number of students is up about 24% compared to a year ago. Credit hour enrollment is also up about 15%. At this time, around 720 students are planning to take classes this fall, with more students still expected.
While UP isn’t exactly sure why they’re seeing increased numbers right now, they’re optimistic.
“The trick is trying to determine why. We bumped up our marketing strategy over the last few months and we are trying hard to make sure students understand what the plan is, should we see an uptick (in coronavirus cases) or need to revert to online,” explained University of Providence Vice President for Enrollment Management Mackenzie Stick.
“We are very optimistic, thrilled to see what’s happening. Local parents may be less willing to send their kids to places with higher infection rates,” said University of Providence Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Matthew Redinger.
UP’s fall semester schedule has changed a bit. Students will now start classes a week earlier than normal, on August 24th. Fall break has been canceled. Staff say that will allow students to stay home between Thanksgiving and when classes resume in January. Click here to visit the school's website.