Freshmen continue to soar at YSU

Youngstown State University continues to enroll larger and more academically prepared freshmen classes with students coming from a broader region across the nation and beyond.

This year’s freshmen class of 2,278 students is 5.5 percent larger than last fall semester and is 25 percent larger than the 1,821 freshmen that enrolled in 2014, according to the latest numbers released today.

The new freshmen class also has the highest ACT scores (21.8) and the highest high school grade point averages (3.31) in YSU’s 100-plus year history. In addition, the number of freshmen in the university’s Honors College has more than tripled since 2014, from 96 to 333.

This year’s freshmen class also includes students from 31 states, up from 16 three years ago, and the total number of international students is up by nearly 40 percent to 442.

“Over the past three years, we have worked hard to recruit students who are better prepared coming out of high school to succeed in the university academic environment,” said Gary Swegan, associate vice president for Enrollment Planning and Management. “We have also spread our recruiting net further from the Mahoning Valley, including more recent efforts to bring in more students from overseas.”

He said the university also has put into place programs to help students once they come to campus. The result is a significant increase in the percentage of freshmen who return to campus as sophomores, from 67 percent in 2014 to nearly 75 percent this year.

“When we bring someone to campus, it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to offer all of the resources necessary to ensure that student’s success,” Swegan said. “These retention numbers reflect that we are having success in that area.”

Other enrollment notes of interest:

  • Overall headcount enrollment is down from last year about 0.9 percent, to 12,644. That is still higher than three years ago, when enrollment was 12,551.
  • On the other hand, full-time equivalent enrollment is up by 0.4 percent from last year.
  • The number of freshmen with a high school grade point average of 3.5 or above has increased by 88 percent since 2014.
  • Freshmen come from 526 high schools and 48 Ohio counties, up from 303 high schools and 37 counties three years ago.