Numbers show 7% enrollment drop

September 3, 2013 Latest Print Print
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Early numbers show a 7 percent decrease in fall enrollment compared to last year’s, with a drop of about 867 in headcount and 8,496 in credit hours, said Stu Harvey, Planning and Research Executive director.

This fall semester’s headcount enrollment is currently 12,263 compared to last fall semester’s at 13,130, according to a report by Senior Research Analyst Joyce Morgan-Dees.

The report shows full-time student enrollment is currently at 4,725, an 8.8 percent decrease from last year’s number of 5,181. Part-time enrollment is currently at 7,538, a 5.2 percent decrease compared to last year enrollment of 7,949.

Harvey said decreased numbers may be caused by different factors, including the May tornadoes.

“We think the storms had an impact,” Harvey said.

“[In the summer] the number of concurrent high school students from Moore was down 75 percent. So that’s not random. Something caused that.”

Concurrent enrollment students take college classes while they still attend high school.

Harvey said Oklahoma’s currently strong economy also has a negative impact on enrollment.

“It’s definitely affected particularly older students,” Harvey said. “They’re either getting more hours in their jobs or they’re getting jobs.

“What we’d like is for them to continue their education. But I think one has to be realistic about it.”

In a breakdown that includes gender, the report shows female enrollment remains greater than male enrollment but have both decreased since fall 2012, the report shows.

Female enrollment is currently at 7,301 while last year’s female student population numbered 7,795, a difference of 6.3 percent. Male enrollment is currently at 4,916 while last year’s was 5,282, a difference of 6.9 percent.

In terms of race and ethnicity, most have declined.

Black/African-American student enrollment currently shows a 16.3 percent decrease at 1,173 compared to last year’s 1,402.

Native American/Alaskan student enrollment currently shows a 9.1 percent decrease at 626 compared to last year’s 689.

White student enrollment shows a 6.5 percent decrease at 6,812 compared to last year’s 7,285.

Overall, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student enrollment shows a 21.2 percent decrease at 41 compared to last year’s 52.

Other ethnic groups have seen an increase.

The report shows a 7.4 percent increase in Hispanic/Latino enrollment at 914 compared to last year’s 851.

Asian enrollment has experienced a 5.3 percent increase at 377 compared to last year’s 358.

Concurrent student enrollment has increased by 5.9 percent at 594 compared to last year’s 561.

Harvey said online enrollment does not show as big a decrease as traditional enrollment.

“We’re about flat with last year in our online enrollment, down about 1 or 2 percent which is good,” Harvey said.

“That’s heartening. It’s been a big part of our growth over the last 10 years.”

Institutional Reseach Analyst Matthew Eastwood said the college also is seeing younger students with the average age of students this fall being 25.5 compared to 26.2 last fall.

Harvey confirmed those numbers.

“Average age has declined, which is another way of saying that older students have dropped out,” Harvey said.

While these numbers are early in the semester and are susceptible to change, Harvey said, it is not likely the change will be dramatic.

For more information, call Harvey at 405-682- 7849, or email sharvey@occc.edu.

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