Wright State enrollment declines by less than expected

Around 13,742 students are enrolled at Wright State University, around a 11.7 percent decline from last year but a smaller one than school administrators were expecting.

“It is much better than we anticipated and that’s primarily due to the great work of advisers this year,” said provost Sue Edwards.

» RELATED: Wright State nearly doubles cash reserves in past two years

The university’s enrollment is lower than it’s been in more than 37 years, according to WSU data.

WSU officials in June had projected an enrollment decline of nearly 7.4 percent, which would have cost the university around $9 million. Then in July the university upped its projected enrollment drop to 14 percent, or a $16.5 million decline in tuition and fee revenue.

Tuition and fees are the university’s biggest source of revenue, as they are at most other colleges. Wright State’s success is “dependent on enrolling and graduating more students,” president Cheryl Schrader has said.

» RELATED: Wright State nursing program grows as the university shrinks overall

Wright State is in the midst of a financial recovery after years of overspending drained the university’s reserve fund to $31 million in fiscal year 2017. The university has nearly doubled its cash reserves in the last two years to more than $60 million.

The 13,742 students enrolled at Wright State two weeks into the school year still has the potential to fluctuate a little as some students withdrawal.

Edwards did not have specific figures available Thursday on local WSU students, but she said that Montgomery and Greene counties saw a double percentage point drop.

“We have a backyard problem that we need to rectify,” Edwards said.

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