Update: Record Enrollment at Kent State
University reports 42,185 students for the fall 2011 semester
If there is any question about the pace of growth at Kent State University, consider it answered.
The university set a record, yet again, for fall semester enrollment with 42,185 students signed up to take classes at all eight campuses. That beats the previous all-time high set last fall of 41,365 students.
The enrollment record comes with the highest-ever Kent campus freshman class, which has 4,284 students.The previous record freshman class? Set in 2009 at 4,030.
And it very well could be the last record enrollment — at least for a while.
Kent State President Lester Lefton, who is away visiting family in California, said in a recent interview that he wants to start shifting the university's focus away from growth and quantity of students.
"The real issue is quality," he said.
The enrollment records also came as the university struggled with residence halls packed beyond capacity. Kent State started the year with dorms at 101.5 percent capacity and about 55 students in "transitional housing" — lounges converted into temporary student rooms.
Kent State spokesperson Emily Vincent said those students who started the year in transitional housing have since been placed into permanent room assignments.
"This was done before the end of the second week of classes," she said.
Enrollment records have fallen repeatedly in recent years.
In spring 2011, Kent State set an all-time high for spring enrollment at 39,936. That number compares with 38,196 in spring 2010 — the previous record for spring enrollment.
In the fall, the university's previous all-time high for total enrollment of 42,365 made Kent State the second-largest university in Ohio behind only Ohio State University.
According to the university, this fall's record saw an increase in international students of 35 percent. And the diversity of students, mostly among the African-American, Latino and Native American populations, rose 6.45 percent.
"The students who have enrolled at Kent State represent great quantity in terms of numbers as well as great quality in terms of student GPA," said T. David Garcia, associate vice president for enrollment management at Kent State. "In addition to that, we have a great diversity in our students and a nice mix of in-state versus out-of-state students as well as international students."