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The Journal Gazette

September 23, 2016 12:29 PM

Fall enrollment up at area private colleges, down at public ones

RON SHAWGO | The Journal Gazette

Continuing a trend seen in recent years, fall enrollment is down at area public colleges, while the number of students at most private schools continues to rise.

From a 1 percent increase at Grace College in Kosciusko County to an 8 percent climb at Fort Wayne's Indiana Tech, private schools keep growing. Combined, enrollment at the six area private schools grew 3 percent this year, while the two public colleges dropped 5 percent, according to figures provided by the schools.

The numbers are for local campuses only and not campus extensions or for online students.

Indiana Tech's Fort Wayne campus enrollment of 1,565 surpasses its long-term goal of having 1,500 on its main campus, the school said in a statement. The school also has regional campuses throughout Indiana, Kentucky and the Chicago area. It's Fort Wayne law school enrolled 55 new students this year, its largest-ever class.

“It’s exciting to see such growth throughout our university,” Arthur E. Snyder, Indiana Tech president, said in a statement. “It shows the value that students place on our ability to provide them with an education that will help them pursue meaningful and rewarding careers. Our team of faculty and staff work closely with students every day to prepare them for success.”

IPFW enrollment declined 6 percent, to 12,010. The drop is at all grade levels, but returning freshmen and sophomores showed the biggest declines, according to IPFW figures. In the last three years enrollment has declined 9 percent.

Carl N. Drummond, IPFW vice chancellor for academic affairs and enrollment management, said the slump is because of more students graduating than enrolling. Not counting high school students taking college courses, there are 8,992 graduate and undergraduate students at IPFW.

For more on this story, see Saturday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m. Saturday.

rshawgo@jg.net