Troy State sees slight drop in enrollment for first semester

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 1, 1999

Staff Writer

Troy State University officials say they are optimistic despite a slight enrollment drop reported for fall semester.

TSU has 5,030 students enrolled this semester at its main campus, compared with 5,225 students enrolled for fall quarter 1998, said Tom Davis, public affairs coordinator at Troy State University. This represents a 3.73 percent drop in enrollment.

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Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor of the Troy State University System, said the school’s switch from quarters to the semester system this term is the main reason for the enrollment decline.

"We’re still analyzing the numbers, but we are sure the conversion (to semesters) accounts for the decrease," Hawkins said. "We looked at other universities’ conversions to semesters and found most of them experienced an enrollment drop.

"Our colleagues advised us that any enrollment reduction under seven percent for a semester conversion should be considered positive."

TSU Vice Chancellor Doug Patterson said a record-setting number of students graduating last winter and spring quarters also contributed to the decline.

"We had somewhere between 150 and 200 students more than normal to graduate in those two graduations," he said.

Patterson said he believes the conversion to semesters will not have a permanent adverse affect on TSU enrollment.

"I think that the semester system is going to be very good and that within the next two years we will be back to our original enrollment levels," he said.

Patterson added Troy State has had strong enrollment growth throughout the 1990s.

"Between 1990 and 1998, our enrollment has grown by 28 percent, while during the same time, enrollment in Alabama’s four-year public universities has decreased by 1.3 percent and enrollment at Alabama’s public colleges dropped 3.5 percent," he said.