By MANDI STEFFEY
Out of the eight Indiana University campuses, the blow to enrollment at IU South Bend is the worst when it comes to undergraduate students. According to the official Indiana University Enrollment Report (Vol. 23, No. 1), undergraduate enrollment is down 4.4% as a whole compared to last fall’s numbers. When compared with other campuses, IUSB fares the worst.
IU Bloomington and most other satellite IU campuses have actually seen an increase in enrollment. Bloomington is packing in 13.9% worth of new students, bringing their undergraduate head count to 36,862. Other campuses, like IU East and IU Kokomo have seen relatively high enrollment this semester when compared to their campus size: IU East boasts a 6.8% rise in enrollment and IU Kokomo is showing a 11.2% increase.
In fact, almost all IU campuses have seen a rise in enrollment. The only other campus that has seen a drop in undergraduate enrollment this semester is IU Southeast, which only suffered a 0.9% loss.
The actual enrollment drop for degree-seeking students is 6.9%, while non-degree students have dropped 7.6%, and when averaged together compared with the number of students there were last year, the number comes to 4.4%.
The total loss of graduate students at IUSB has dropped by 11%, which is even a larger decrease. However, campuses like IPFW and IU Northwest have seen bigger decreases in graduate enrollment.
IUSB’s 4.4% undergraduate loss does not necessarily reflect the changes that have been made around campus to help better serve students, including new buildings, programs and faculty.
There has been speculation that rising tuition costs and fees may have turned prospective or current students away from IUSB and towards other colleges, but per credit hour, undergraduate fees have only increased by $2.94 this semester, according to the IUSB Bursar website. To the average full-time student, that’s only an increase of about $12 to $15 dollars for the entire academic year. When it comes to the student activity fee, the amount that students who are taking more than 6 credit hours have to pay has actually decreased by around $1 when compared to last year.
Many other fees have stayed the same or have had very little change. One of the only exceptions is the increase in River Crossing housing fees, which are up around $70 to $100 per semester depending on the type of apartment.
With not many fees changing significantly, the drop in enrollment can’t currently be tied to anything definite.
Remember to stay with The Preface as we dig deeper into this issue.