Editorial:Tenth day numbers show step in right direction

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Eastern’s tenth day enrollment numbers were released on Tuesday and once again, on-campus head count is down. This time the number of students on-campus dropped 3.25 percent to 4,917, in Fall 2018 that number was 5,082. 

Last week, we at The Daily Eastern News, wrote an editorial stating that the number of on-campus students would be the most important figure to look at when evaluating enrollment in Fall 2019. While total enrollment, which includes online and dual-credit high school students once again rose, this time 3.72 percent to a total of 7,806 students, the number of students actually on-campus is once again, regrettably lower. 

However, we at The Daily Eastern News, believe that a closer inspection of the enrollment numbers show a very positive trend moving forward for Eastern. 

The size of the first-time freshman class is up from last year from 789 students to 888. The total number of freshman and sophomores enrolled in on-campus classes is also up 10 percent. The residence halls are reporting an increase in occupants and generally the younger classes of Eastern’s current students are growing. 

That is certainly a step in the right direction for a school that once found itself on the opposite end of that narrative. 

We are pleased to see the growth and hope that it continues in the coming years, despite on-campus head count being down again, the overall numbers paint a brighter picture of Eastern’s future. 

The number of transfer students attending Eastern from other four-year universities is also up a reported 50 percent in Fall 2019. Graduate numbers are up 4.2 percent and the number of international students rose as well. 

The number we feared to see was another drop in on-campus head count, and we did indeed see it in Fall 2019. The impact of this number on the Charleston and Eastern community should still not be ignored, as less students on-campus means less activity in the community.

But that number should not be overreacted to just yet and should be taken into consideration with the fact that based on current freshman enrollment, that number should rise in the coming years. 

Eastern’s administration, faculty and staff were pleased with the enrollment numbers released on Tuesday, and the Charleston and Eastern communities should be as well, because while on-campus enrollment is still down, things are certainly trending in the right direction.