Tiffin University's enrollment continues to increase.
The number of degree-seeking undergraduate students on the Tiffin campus increased to 1,472 from 1,350 a year ago, and the 535 new undergraduates on the local campus mark the largest entering class in the school's history, according to a release.
TU's enrollment has increased 354 percent over eight years. Total enrollment is 6,816, compared to 4,940 a year ago, which marks an increase of 38 percent, the release states.
President Paul Marion said there are fewer people in Ohio going to college this year compared to a year ago, and a 38 percent increase in one year is dramatic.
"We're up 38 percent, which was the highest increase in the state (by public and private schools) by far. ... We were pleasantly surprised," he said.
Marion said TU's academic reputation seems to be growing each year, the university has added some new programs and he said he thinks the Tiffin campus' new facilities have been helpful. The university's retention rate increased along with the number of new students, he said.
Heidelberg University's total enrollment is 1,455 students, a decrease from last year's total of 1,596.
Lindsay Sooy, vice president for enrollment management, said she thinks a lot of the decrease has to do with increasing competition from for-profit and community colleges because they are seeing a sharp increase in enrollment.
"We are being very, very aggressive with our partnerships with community colleges," she said.
Sooy said the past year was tough for higher education in Ohio, and it is disappointing any time there is a decline in enrollment. But, Heidelberg's incoming class was high in quality, and the university graduated one of the largest classes in history last school year, she said.
Heidelberg has seen an increase in retention and has received 4,000 more inquiries from this time last year.
Sooy said she thinks a lot of things Heidelberg is doing with new facilities, programs, schools and ideas, such as Patricia Adams Lecture Series and the media communication center, are helping attract students.
"We are really figuring out who we are and who we want to be," she said.
Sooy said Heidelberg has more than 400 new full-time students on the Tiffin campus, including 282 new first-time freshmen and 41 transfer students. The number of transfer students increased, while the number of freshmen decreased from a year ago.
The university's goal is to get 75 new transfer students and 335 freshmen, with at least 30 percent being from outside Ohio, Sooy said. The university has a new recruiter whose responsibilities primarily focus on Florida and Texas and working with alumni populations. Officials already have started to see some success from her visits, Sooy said.
"It's exciting," she said.
Enrollment at Terra State Community College decreased this semester after four straight years of increases. There are 3,485 students taking classes this fall, compared to 3,516 a year ago, according to information from the school.
"We are pleased to see a new class with diverse majors and interests," said President Marsha Bordner in a release. "Our goal is to help all students to be successful."