Enrollment figures released by show the eight-campus system has for the largest-ever student body.
A total 42,513 students are enrolled for classes this fall at Kent State, according to 15th day census data released by the university.
That record surpasses the previous all-time high, set in fall 2011, of 42,185 across all eight campuses. The previous record had been set just one year earlier, in fall 2010, at 41,365 students.
In January, the university set a record for spring enrollment with 39,936 students. That number compares with 38,196 in spring 2010 — the previous record for spring enrollment.
Kent State President Lester Lefton attributed the growth to improved retention rates, including among last year's largest-ever freshman class.
"Kent campus retention is 77 percent, up 2 percent from last year," Lefton said in prepared remarks. "There are other factors contributing to our growing enrollment. We’re attracting more academically motivated students. The efforts on campus being made by our faculty and staff to help our students succeed are making a difference. We’re also offering more tutorial services and doing more student outreach."
Retention of undergraduate students rose 4.3 percent compared with last year, according to the university.
At the Kent campus, a total 27,706 students are enrolled — a 2.85 percent increase — in classes this fall. And 14,807 students are enrolled at the university's seven regional campuses.
A total 21,736 people applied to attend the Kent campus this fall. The university's admission rate this fall was 83.1 percent. University officials say this year's freshman class has the
T. David Garcia, Kent State’s associate vice president for enrollment management, said the university is moving towards quality rather than quantity in terms of the student body.
"We’re improving retention and persistence to graduation," Garcia said in prepared remarks. "And, if we continue on this path of focusing on student quality, our hope is to have a retention rate higher than 80 percent in the next one to three years."
Other enrollment-related figures released by the university today include:
- Enrollment at Kent State University at Geauga (Twinsburg Campus) is up 3.34 percent. Kent State Geauga reported 1,548 students for Fall 2012 compared to 1,498 in the previous year.
- Enrollment of international students is up 19.1 percent to 2,217 students compared to 1,862 in the previous year.
- Graduate enrollment has increased 10.05 percent.