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Penn State Enrollment Decreases Slightly For Fall 2018 Semester

Penn State enrollment decreased slightly for the fall 2018 semester compared to the previous year, according to Penn State’s annual enrollment snapshot released Wednesday.

Fall 2018 enrollment across the university system is 97,136 — down by 1.7 percent from the previous year. Enrollment at University Park decreased by only 340 students to a total of 46,270 enrolled, while enrollment at Penn State’s 19 Commonwealth Campuses declined by about 5 percent to a total of 28,861 undergraduate students.

Rob Pangborn, Penn State vice president and dean for undergraduate education, said in a release that enrollment depends on numerous factors, including population decline, demographic shifts, low unemployment rates, and increased competition for students.

“Enrollments at the campuses have seen periodic ups and downs from year to year, but the trend over 20 years has been quite stable,” Pangborn said. “What we are seeing recently in our Commonwealth Campuses is not different from what many of our peer institutions have experienced across the state and especially in the northeastern part of the country.”

Despite the overall decrease, some sectors of students actually expanded over the past year, including Penn State Law and Dickinson Law (6.7 percent increase), Penn State Great Valley (3.6 percent increase), College of Medicine (1.5 percent increase), and World Campus (1.1 percent increase). Graduate enrollments overall grew by nearly 1 percent.

The university also reported more than 16,000 first-year students between University Park (8,138), the Commonwealth Campuses (7,609), and World Campus (387).

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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