University enrollment looks up

Published 6:50 pm Thursday, August 13, 2009

Troy University doesn’t know its official enrollment just yet, but early indicators show a continuing trend — growth.

“We’re feeling really good about our enrollment at this point,” said Buddy Starling, dean of enrollment management.

Classes began Wednesday, but late registration won’t end until Monday, so numbers won’t officially be counted until then.

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But, between numbers of students registered, those applying for financial aid and those in on-campus housing, Starling said the university will likely have seen at least some growth since this time last year.

“We’re anticipating some enrollment growth,” Starling said.

Starling said one of the more surprising indicators is the number of students who have registered late this week.

“Our registration, particularly late registration, has been unexpectedly strong,” Starling said.

“We saw a lot of transfer students come in late during the late registration.”

Starling also said on-campus housing is filled, which is another strong indication enrollment is solid.

However, Troy housing didn’t experience the overcrowding problem it often has in years past.

“We cut our (application) date off earlier this year, so we had people on a waiting list but not as many,” said Herb Reeves, dean of student services.

“It’s been not as big a relief, but it’s been better than it was last year. We still had people on a waiting list up to last week.”

Considering economic conditions, Starling said the year’s enrollment numbers were one of the more challenging ones to predict.

“It’s been a really tough year to predict,” Starling said.

“I think students made decisions much later in the recruitment cycle, so it’s been a really strange year in regard to predicting enrollment.”

Earlier this summer, Starling presented early enrollment predictions to the Troy University Board of Trustees, projecting a 3 percent increase based on applications received and processed.

That amount was a university-wide prediction, spanning all the campuses Troy University has and its online school.

On the Troy campus alone, Troy University grew by around 375 students from 2007 to 2008.

Fall 2007 had 5,923 students enrolled on campus, and in fall 2008, the university growth spiked to 6,296 students.

After Monday, the university should have a more clear idea of exact student enrollment.