Winter Quarter enrollment for Ohio State’s Columbus campus is 1.8 percent higher than it was Winter Quarter 2011, an increase of 954 students, according to enrollment data.
In addition, the class of new freshmen on Columbus’ campus experienced a 15.8 percent increase, the largest increase of all levels reported.
Gail Stephenoff, director of analysis and reporting for the Office of Enrollment Services, said in an email to The Lantern that this is an ongoing trend carried over from Autumn Quarter.
“The increase in enrollment this winter compared to last winter is a continuation of the pattern from Autumn Quarter,” Stephenoff said. “We were up for all levels on all campuses 0.5 percent in Autumn Quarter 2011 over Autumn Quarter 2010. For the Columbus campus, we were up 1.4 percent in Autumn 2011 compared to Autumn 2010.”
President E. Gordon Gee said he feels very good about the numbers at the university.
“Our numbers could not be stronger,” Gee said. “I’m talking about the quality of our students and the number of our applicants at both the undergraduate, graduate and professional level, very strong.”
Stephenoff said the university has also seen an increase in retention rates, and expects the increases to continue next quarter. Stephenoff said this is part of the university’s plan to minimize any potential drop in enrollment due to the semester switch beginning this summer. She said enrollment changes should not disrupt any university services.
“When other universities have switched from quarters to semesters, a decrease of approximately 2 percent in enrollment the first fall (semester) was typical as more students complete and graduate in the last quarter,” she said. “We are expecting no drop or a similar impact at Ohio State. We planned for the decline by enrolling more new students throughout this academic year in order to maintain enrollment and lessen any potential impact.”
Data also shows that other groups saw large percentage increases this quarter over last year on all campuses. Of all categories, international students saw the largest increase, with 12.8 percent. In a different analysis focused on residency status, non-Ohio residents, including the international students, saw the largest increase with 15.3 percent.
Alysha Fligner, a second-year in marketing, said she doesn’t think the change in freshmen is that significant but agreed the increase in international students might have something to do with the China Gateway office that opened in Shanghai in June 2010.
“I’ve read that OSU is one of the biggest (U.S.) schools for international students,” Fligner said. “Maybe they’re trying to improve (diversity) at the university.”