By Adriana Mayes
The fall semester has brought with it an increase in the enrollment of students at Youngstown State University and a need to accommodate the growing number of students living on and around campus.
According to Gary Swegan, associate vice president for Enrollment Planning and Management, enrollment will impact the number of classes offered and the faculty employed, two factors that are carefully watched by the provost.
“It’s been well documented that one of the things we did was create a partnership with a company, called Royall, which is a preeminent provider of direct marketing recruitment,” Swegan said. “They generate a marketing tool to expand reach. The groundwork [for increased enrollment] was laid a year ago.”
The result of the partnership with Royall is a projected enrollment increase of 2.5 to 3 percent since last year in full-time equivalent students.
Enrollment is anticipated to fluctuate in the first couple weeks of the school year. Swegan predicts the final number will be over 12,800 this year.
President Jim Tressel said the influx of students has affected the amount of people living on and around campus, which has increased campus activity and brought more students together.
“More people, from more places, makes a more global campus, which prepares students for a global world,” he said.
The incoming freshmen class is bringing with them high expectations and a standard of excellence.
“The incoming freshmen have the highest GPA’s and ACT scores [in YSU’s history] which makes for more involvement on campus, which is a very positive thing,” Tressel said.
According to Swegan, the average ACT score of this year’s incoming freshmen is 21.75, which is significantly higher than before. The high average is reflective of the school’s change from open admission to selective admission.
Housing complexes benefit from the increase in student population. According to Carol Seawood at University Courtyards, there are more residents than last year.
University Edge is currently at full capacity and will not begin leasing apartments for the spring until September, employee Renee Linsenmann said.
The new facility poses competition for on-campus housing communities, which will require an aggressive approach to ensure they remain filled, according to Swegan.
“We feel like the new spaces are so important to YSU,” Swegan said. “They create a more vibrant community for the residents of Youngstown.”
The increase in students on campus has affected parking availability. Marissa Gray, a senior English major, thinks the influx is a positive thing, but the parking situation has become a nuisance.
“I have had to park significantly further from campus this year,” Gray said. “With all the construction on campus, it is very congested in the mornings making for a longer commute.”
The increase in enrollment also brings positive changes, she said.
“There seems to be more excitement on campus as well as a wider, more diverse group of students,” Gray said. “Increased enrollment is a great thing, but we also have to contend with the logistical problems it presents.”