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2013 September 16 - 12:00 am

TRACKING TRENDS : Ohio Colleges See Steady, Growing Enrollment

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Officials at some Ohio colleges are pleased to see enrollment holding steady or increasing slightly a year after dipping more than expected as schools switched to a semester schedule.

Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati and Hocking College in southeast Ohio are among those anticipating larger student populations as the school year begins. 

Combined enrollment dropped about 13,000 students last year at the 17 schools that moved to semesters, and two-year colleges were hit especially hard and forced to make budget cuts.

Columbus State Community College dropped to about 25,600 students last year and expects about the same this year. Officials are satisfied for now, given that there’s a lower number of Ohio high-school graduates and adults in need of training, the newspaper said.

“A year ago, there was a big drop. You don’t just jump up from that,” said Mabel Freeman, interim vice president of student affairs at Columbus State.

In Nelsonville in southeast Ohio, Hocking College anticipates a slight increase in enrollment from the nearly 4,600 it had last year.

“We’re truly happy to be on the other side of the quarter-to-semester transition and are cautiously optimistic about enrollment for this fall,” spokeswoman Laura Alloway said.

Ohio University in nearby Athens expects more freshmen and transfer students.

Ohio State University is bracing for about 950 more students, and that’s ``pretty good,’’ said Dolan Evanovich, the university’s vice president for strategic enrollment planning. With a little over 64,000 students at its Columbus and regional campuses, Ohio State would be near its enrollment record set in 2011, when it had 64,400 students.

The University of Cincinnati, which didn’t see a dip with the semester switch, expects to have a record-high 43,000 students.

Information about any schools with decreased enrollments probably won’t be publicized until figures are finalized a few weeks into the school year.  

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