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Enrollment rates dropping

Freshmen arrive on campus to move in, in Aug. 2020. Vanguard Photographer | Brooke Elward

SVSU experienced an enrollment growth in programs like psychology, public health, and rehabilitation medicine but an overall drop in students over the past year.

J.J. Boehm, the executive Director of University Communications, said the growth in these programs is important for two reasons for SVSU.

“One, it shows that our market projec- tions were accurate, in terms of student interest and employment demand, when we were building these new majors. Two, it demonstrates that students are having good experiences in those programs,” he said.

SVSU’s overall student enrollment is down by 6.3 percent from 8,030 last fall to 7,523 this fall.

Boehm said the overall drop in students means a few different things for SVSU.

“We are redoubling our efforts to recruit new students and to reach out to former students, encouraging them to re- turn,” he said. “We receive a lot less state support than we did 15-20 years ago, so more than 75 percent of our budget is based on students’ tuition. We’ve managed our finances well, but ultimately fewer students results in reduced revenue.”

Boehm said this is a “troubling trend” with enrollment down not just at SVSU but other universities as well.

“All the job forecasts show that Michigan employers need more college-educated talent, not less,” he said. “Our businesses, our schools, our hospitals, they all need more of the hard-working, caring, committed professionals SVSU produces.”

Boehm said he anticipates the growth in psychology, public health and rehabilitation medicine to continue.

“Given the growing interest in health care generally and mental health, specifically, I would not be surprised if these programs continue to grow,” he said.

With the growth and accelerated demand in these programs, other programs have seen fewer students enroll compared to when SVSU had a larger enrollment about five and ten years ago Boehm said.

Despite some of flux in SVSU’s enroll- ment they saw nearly the same number of freshmen start this semester as they did last fall.

The 2020-2021 academic year reported 1,382 incoming freshman and the 2021- 2022 academic year saw 1,335 for incoming freshman

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