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Kent State’s Fall Enrollment Jumps 11.76 Percent to an All-Time High (09/16/09)

Students Moving InKent State University announced today an 11.76 percent increase in enrollment for the fall 2009 semester across its eight campuses with the release of the university’s official 15th day census data. This double-digit percentage growth represents the university’s highest recorded enrollment in its 100-year history.

The university reports 38,457 students for the 2009 fall semester, compared to 34,411 for fall semester 2008. Unduplicated (or preponderant) headcount at the Kent Campus is 24,569, and the unduplicated headcount for the regional campuses is 13,888. Students are counted at the campus at which they hold the majority of their course load and are only counted once.

The previous enrollment high for the Kent State University system was set in 2004 with 34,458 students.

“These numbers confirm the excellence in action happening here at Kent State University,” said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “The record number of students enrolled is a wonderful accomplishment and is great news as we celebrate our university’s 100 anniversary. Not only did we see an increase in students enrolling at Kent State, but we also saw the caliber of students we’re attracting improving. The quality of our 2009 freshmen class is the best ever.”

Highlights from the fall 2009 enrollment numbers also include:

  • Enrollment at the regional campuses is up by 17.37 percent, setting an all-time high and surpassing the previous high set in fall 2008 with 11,833
  • Freshman enrolled students at the Kent Campus has increased by 8.6 percent
  • Enrollment of international students is up 27.63 percent
  • Kent Campus student retention has grown to 78.6 percent from 72.5 percent
  • Graduate enrollment has increased by 7.75 percent

“More and more, students from throughout Northeast Ohio, the state, the country and worldwide are realizing they belong here at Kent State University,” said Robert Frank, the university’s provost and senior vice president. “Students are coming from all parts of the world to get a Kent State education. This benefits the university in many ways, and it has a great economic impact for the region as these international students travel light to campus and then need to purchase items for daily living.”

Frank also added that the changes occurring in the city of Kent, such as the Phoenix Project’s Acorn Alley and other downtown developments, have made the university a more attractive destination.

“Thanks to the hard work of faculty, staff and the Admissions Office, we are seeing more students interested in Kent State,” said T. David Garcia, Kent State’s associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “There are a number of factors that contribute to our enrollment success, such as Kent State’s affordability, the wide range of programs, courses and activities available to our students, the close relationship our faculty has with students to help them succeed, as well as our attractive residence halls. The outreach efforts done by the Admissions Office and faculty, particularly in departments like biology and journalism, really worked as we’re seeing tremendous increases in those programs.

Last year, the university developed a portfolio of student support programs to improve retention. These new initiatives along with the existing programs in the college advising offices, the student success unit, the academic success center and the residence halls have given students several safety nets so they can be successful.

“The retention numbers reflect this systemic approach to helping students succeed, and the entire university faculty and staff members have played a key role,” Garcia said.

Despite a struggling economy, Kent State has also experienced a banner year in terms of fundraising dollars and research money. This summer, the university announced supporters had committed more than $37 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, shattering the institution’s previous fundraising record by nearly $9 million. External research funding grew from $32.5 million to $46 million.

The university’s eight campuses are located in Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Kent, Salem, Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas.

For the full fall enrollment report, go to

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Photo Caption:
With help from their friends and family, Kent State University students began moving into the residence halls on the Kent Campus for the fall 2009 semester in late August. These students are among the 38,457 students enrolled at Kent State this fall, marking the university’s highest recorded enrollment in its 100-year history.

Media Contact:
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595


This page was last modified on September 8, 2009