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Campus plan expected to draw students

University to increase city involvement in hopes of increasing enrollment figures

BY NADINE SHAMATTA
MAY 6, 2010

Cleveland State University’s master plan is expected to improve campus space, connect with the city and build an overall positive image for the campus. The plan is a great initiative put forth by CSU, but will it attract more people to live in Cleveland and increase student enrollment?

“The university doesn’t want to be an island, it wants to be part of the neighborhood,” said Jack Boyle, the vice president of business affairs and finance at Cleveland State.

CSU had a surge in student enrollment just last year. In September 2009, CSU’s enrollment reached its highest point in 15 years with a total count of more than 16,000 students. The CSU admissions office credits the enrollment boost to incoming freshmen, graduate students and veterans returning to school.

CSU is an urban university that occupies more than 80 acres of land in Downtown Cleveland. The campus contains more than 40 buildings, providing residency, recreation, teaching, research and administrative facilities.

The master plan will make good use of the existing campus while adding a student center, apartment-style housing for students and a building for the College of Education and Human Services.

New businesses around the CSU campus are expected to draw in more students.
The low tuition of CSU could be a factor that attracts prospective students and catches the attention of their parents.

Tuition at CSU is $4,098 per semester for undergraduates and $5,908.50 per semester for graduate students. That is considerably less than the tuition for Baldwin-Wallace College, another option for area high school students, which is about $25,000 per year.

Case Western Reserve University charges around $35,000 annually.

Cleveland State boasts more than 100,000 graduates and more than 800 international students. According to the 2009 Book of Trends for CSU, students enrolled come from 32 different states and represent 75 different countries.

“Our students are fond of claiming that the entire city is their campus for study, practical experience, and recreation,” according to the CSU admissions Web site.

“I’m considering CSU because of its nursing program. It’s one of the best. After hearing that it’s planning on making improvements on campus, I’m more sold on the idea,” said Megan Estep, a 20-year-old student interested in transferring to CSU’s nursing program

Her mother, Christine Estep, agreed. “The proximity of the campus to our home is a major benefit. She’d [Megan] be able to get that college campus experience but still come home at the end of the day,” said Estep.

Norman Krumholz, a professor in the Levin College of Urban Affairs at CSU, said the idea for improvements at the school is to keep people here and develop a school so good it would keep people in the city and draw people in.

By involving CSU in the city of Cleveland through campus improvements and new businesses, planners suggest that the university will attract more students to add to its thriving community.