Tiffin and Heidelberg universities are seeing increases in their enrollment for the 2013-14 year, while Terra State Community College sees a decrease.
A total of 1,531 undergraduates are enrolled on the Tiffin University campus this fall, the largest number in the university's 125-year history. It represents a 3.4-percent increase over the 1,481 undergraduates enrolled in the fall of 2012.
The university welcomed an entering class of 532 new students, also a record high.
"The fact that TU's enrollment continues to increase each year is especially impressive, since the number of high school graduates in Ohio and neighboring states has decreased in recent years, and many colleges and universities are experiencing enrollment declines," President Paul Marion said. "TU's success is due to the fact that our academic reputation continues to grow and the satisfaction of our students continues to increase."
Jeremy Marinis, vice president of enrollment management, said "Tiffin University continues to consider innovation relating to developing new recruitment markets and strengthening student support services. Also an added benefit is Tiffin's faculty and staff continue to be engaged with student recruitment and offering students support upon enrollment.
"Tiffin University has been fortunate to diversify our Tiffin campus student body by increasing the number of international students who enroll, in turn offering the university and community a global, cultural experience," Marinis said. "As a campus, we will continue to build upon our positive academic reputation and strive to create new programs and support services."
Tiffin has 128 undergraduate international students and 53 graduate international student on campus. Marinis said these students have chosen Tiffin University for many of the same reasons domestic students choose Tiffin. The academic reputation continues to support international recruitment, along with support services the students experience once enrolled at Tiffin.
Heidelberg University is to welcome 380 first-year, full-time and transfer students to its campus. The university's overall enrollment for 2013-14 tops 1,500, including undergraduates, graduate students, high school options students, and students enrolled in other programs.
Doug Kellar, vice president for enrollment management for Heidelberg, said high school students considering a college or university are attracted to a small, experience and quality education along with extracurricular activities on campuses.
"Students need to understand and find the right match and fit for themselves," Kellar said.
Heidelberg keeps a positive experience in the classroom, Kellar said, along with a high academic interest along with social connections with clubs and organizations.
"This year's incoming class represents a modest growth in enrollment, and collectively, this class is one of the most prepared academically in the past few years," President Robert Huntington said. "In fact, average GPA and ACT scores are higher than last year, 34 students came to Heidelberg with perfect 4.0 GPAs from high school, 18 percent are Heidelberg Scholars, which meant they received academic scholarships, and the new class has a female/male balance, which was an important goal for us."
Heidelberg also has some 30 international students.
"Although a majority of those students have come to Heidelberg due to an affiliation between our school and theirs, some choose Heidelberg for specific academic programs and athletics," Julie Arnold, director of international affairs and studies at Heidelberg, said. "Many students consider schools in large cities because it is similar to their home environments; however, after living in Tiffin, they soon appreciate the small, friendly community that we have to offer and call it 'home.'"
Terra Community College is bringing in a total of 2,925 students, with 838 first-year students.
Kristen Taylor, director of admissions and enrollment services at Terra, said the college is down 130 students, a 13-percent decrease.
"We are attributing the decline in enrollment to the economy improving, mostly," Taylor said. "Many students we surveyed indicated they were returning to work, whether part time or full time.
"We are also glad to learn our students are transferring to complete their bachelor's degrees," she said. "We are noticing our FTE (full-time equivalency) is impacted by federal financial aid regulations that are impacting enrollment as maximum pell limits and increased monitoring of financial aid are requiring some of our students to plan carefully which classes they can take each semester."
Taylor said that Terra is on board with the state's Success Agenda.
"We put student success at the center of everything we do. We are encouraging our students to keep their momentum going and complete their degree to achieve their goals," Taylor said. "We are also looking at new certificates and degrees that will enhance graduates' skills so they can advance on the job."
In addition to new facilities in skilled trades, music and health, Terra is upgrading classrooms with technology and opening the new Terra State Conference & Hospitality Center on campus this November.
"This will provide a real setting for our hospitality management students to gain the skills and experience needed to succeed in the business," Taylor said. "Our flexible class offerings also help working adults fit a class or two into their busy lives."
Terra President Jerome Webster said, "While all of us are encouraged to see a slight rebound in the economy, this change impacts many students' abilities to attend classes. Often, they stop out of school because of work opportunities that come about because the economy has rebounded.
"However, we continue to provide a high quality, affordable educational experience for the learner who wants to earn a valuable credential that will lead to work or the ability to transfer to a four-year institution while avoiding huge financial debt. We love serving this savvy type of student!"