Total enrollment at Pennsylvania's state-owned universities down again

Tony Romeo
October 09, 2019 - 4:00 am
Books in library.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — West Chester University continues to flourish, but overall, enrollment at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities is down again this fall.

Enrollment of full-time and part-time students at state-owned universities has dropped to 95,802 this fall — down 2.6 percent from last year, and down almost 20 percent from the peak of more than 119,000 students nine years ago. 

Dave Pidgeon, spokesman for the State System of Higher Education, says the numbers underscore the need for a "transformational change" taking place in the system right now.

"We are looking at everything from budgets to how do we advise students, how can we improve our strategies for student retention," he said. 

One bright spot continues to be West Chester, which has grown steadily and boasts by far the largest enrollment in the system at 17,691 students. Enrollment at Cheyney University has rebounded from 469 students last year to 618 this year.