Local colleges see increase in fall enrollment

Local News

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As the local colleges prepare for the fall semester, many of them are seeing more students than last year, both with the fact classes are in-person as well as the overall number.

Grove City College (GCC), the private Christian college in Grove City, will have 629 incoming freshmen, which is a 20 percent jump from last year’s numbers during the pandemic.

“There are a number of factors behind our increased numbers, but I think the College’s clear mission and its remarkable network were responsible for the very good year,” said GCC Student Recruitment vice president Lee S. Wishing III. “That second point is borne out by the fact that 92 percent of the new students have a connection to someone who has a relationship with Grove City College – alumni, family members, teachers, faculty, coaches, and others – that encouraged them to attend.”

Meanwhile, in Erie County, both Penn State-Behrend and Gannon University are also expecting an increase from August of last year — Behrend by eight percent and Gannon by 5.5 percent.

According to Bill Edmondson, vice president of enrollment at Gannon, this increase will make this year one of the highest enrollments ever.

“We are seeing a spike in global numbers, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels,” said Edmondson. “We believe this increase in global students is fueled by two things — the lifting of COVID restrictions and the new administration in Washington and its loosening of VISA restrictions.”

Both Edinboro University and Mercyhurst University will not have their final enrollment numbers until the fall semester begins, due to students dropping and adding courses.

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