Enrollment rates drop

Like other universities nationwide, SVSU has faced changes in enrollment due to the pandemic.

Overall, SVSU has seen a decline in enrollment rates, which was anticipated in early summer.

“In terms of total enrollment we are down slightly, but that is not a great surprise, given the declining number of high school graduates in Michigan and the challenges posed to many students and families by COVID-19,” said J.J. Boehm, the interim executive director of University Communications.

International and transfer student numbers were most affected by the pandemic.

“We saw declines in the number of international students … and the number of transfer students, which is due in part to the drop in enrollment at the state’s community colleges,” Boehm said.

Boehm said residential numbers were also down as compared to previous years.

“The number of students living on campus is down to around 2,150, mostly due to reduced density in our residence halls to promote safety during the pandemic,” Boehm said. “For the second consecutive year, we have earned the ‘best dorms’ ranking of any public university in the U.S. by Niche.”

Other universities have been experiencing enrollment trends similar to those seen at SVSU over the past several months.

“Many state universities in Michigan saw overall enrollment declines and smaller freshman classes this fall,” Boehm said. “This is not a surprise, given that high schools were forced online in March and high school seniors were unable to access many of the resources they normally would use. In addition, the number of high school graduates in Michigan has been falling for several years.”

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still countless reasons why students are encouraged to enroll and become part of the SVSU community, Boehm said.

“Students want to attend SVSU because of the caring faculty, staff and students, our affordability and value, our 97 percent job placement rate and many other factors,” Boehm said. “The number one barrier we hear about from students is finances, which is why SVSU has kept our tuition the lowest among the state universities and why we have made major investments in financial aid.”

During these uncertain times, Boehm said it is more important than ever for students to support and be there for one another.

“I would encourage our current students to reach out and be a source of support for potential SVSU students, especially high school seniors,” Boehm said. “We know school counselors can’t provide the support they normally do, and students and families have seen their lives disrupted.”

Boehm encouraged students to keep working hard in their studies and to seek help if they need it.

“It’s important that students continue to pursue and complete degrees for their futures and for Michigan’s future,” he said. “SVSU staff are ready and willing to help them get answers about applications, transcripts, financial aid, academic programs and much more.”

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