Tenth Day enrollment expected to be high, likely released Tuesday

Analicia Haynes, Senior Reporter

 Fall enrollment is expected to increase again this year, with an anticipated double digit increase in the freshman class. 

Josh Norman, the associate vice president of enrollment management, said although he will not give an actual estimate ahead of Tenth Day, the numbers are looking up. 

“There’s growth across the board,” Norman said in regards to increases in freshmen, graduate and transfer enrollments. “But as far as numbers, Tenth Day is where it’s at.”

Tenth Day is Friday, but Norman said numbers will most likely be released Tuesday evening. 

What Did Last Year Look Like?

Last year overall student enrollment was 7,526, which included 1,274 high school students taking dual credit courses part-time. 

Compared to 2017 figures, that was a 7.1 percent increase of overall enrollment. Fall enrollment in 2017 was 7,030.

Last year’s numbers also included on-campus enrollment, which was 5,082, and off-campus enrollment, which was 2,444. 

In 2017, on-campus enrollment was 5,490 and off-campus enrollment was 1,540, making on-campus enrollment in 2018 a 7.41 percent decrease and off-campus enrollment a 58.60 percent increase. 

In a Sept. 4, 2018 article in The Daily Eastern News, Norman said the increase from 2017 to 2018 resulted from retention efforts and the annual strategic data plan that was established in 2017.

Norman credits the same plan and the work done over the course of the year for the next increase in enrollment. 

What Helped Enrollment Grow?

Norman said in the 2018 article that the annual strategic data plan spans across 10 years.

It adjusts annually to reflect the changing demographics and behaviors in data collected from students and potential students through college choice surveys.

This year the plan continues, and Norman said the team behind the plan completed 66 action plans, such as reinventing the major and minors database on Eastern’s website, and incorporating “leverage dynamic variable printing.” This means that when a student’s information enters Eastern’s database, a postcard with the student’s name is printed and sent to that student welcoming them to the university or giving them other information necessary for admission.

“That personalization is key to our success,” Norman said.

These action plans helped with the expected increase in enrollment, and other factors that helped with the growth include the help from the admissions staff, continued rebranding efforts, alumni support and stable leadership within admissions and enrollment management, Norman said.

“We dropped counselors during the (enrollment) cycle, but this team is so solid that they stepped in …sometimes working two territories,” Norman said, crediting the admissions counselors for their work.

State-wide Growth

Norman said one of the problems the university faced in years past was not having support from the state, which led to out-migration trends or students leaving the state to attend college.

However, he said the current tone at the state level is “night and day” compared to previous administrations.

“We need stable budgets that makes all the difference,” Norman said.

He said the current administration has been supportive of higher education and he said that can be seen through the new capital development bill, the increase in a state appropriation or the AIM High grants. 

He said this benefits all universities because it helps decrease the amount of out migration and gives students and families a “vote of confidence” in the state.

“That’s huge, you know that’s going to have an impact on out migration, you know that’s going to have an impact on enrollment,” Norman said. 

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]