Yesterday, President Deborah Curtis issued a message in an email to students giving an update on enrollment. She stated that, “We are pleased to report that we have made some impressive gains in student persistence and degree completion in the past couple of years. With that said, enrollment for this spring semester, reported last week by the registrar, is lower than anticipated. We have 9,662 students, not including 246 dual-credit students. This follows a national trend with the pandemic and changing demographics. In addition, smaller classes moving through to graduation will impact enrollment for the next academic year.” She continues with “There are two aspects of our work upon which we are focused right now: first, ending the current fiscal year (FY 21) with a positive balance, and second, preparing a balanced budget for the next fiscal year (FY 22). The University Budget Committee will meet Feb. 8 to discuss strategies we will employ to address these tasks. At this time we need to continue to manage spending closely. Campus has been doing a good job of this halfway through FY 21. Please continue to do so.”
In the last five years, from spring of 2017 to spring of 2021, the enrollment rate at ISU has dropped by 22.8%. From the spring of 2020 to the spring of 2021 alone, enrollment at ISU dropped by 12.5%, mostly due to the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Curtis ended the message by stating, “Meanwhile, looking forward, we can all engage in recruiting and welcoming more students to Indiana State. As more people are able to be vaccinated this spring and summer, there is a renewed opportunity to invite more on-campus freshmen, transfer students, graduate students, and online students to engage with us. We can do this together as we incorporate these goals into our new strategic plan, ‘Focusing on Our Future Together.’ We will provide more information regarding the budget as the spring semester unfolds. Thank you for all that you do every day to deliver on our mission. We are Sycamore strong!”