Over 1,900 first-year students enrolled for first day of fall semester
Cleveland State University marked the beginning of the fall semester by welcoming more than 1,900 first-year students to campus, the largest freshman class in the university’s history and a 5 percent increase over 2015. This continues an impressive streak as freshman enrollment has more than doubled since 2010. In addition, CSU saw increases both in the number of returning students and the number of credit hours taken, indicating positive movement both for retention and graduation rates.
"Our continued increases in freshman enrollment, which go against national trends, illustrate CSU’s position as a top destination in Northeast Ohio for higher education,” says CSU President Ronald M. Berkman. “In addition, we are very pleased to see the continued positive results of our suite of student success initiatives, which are designed to assist our students in graduating on time and with less debt.”
Students frequently cite CSU’s urban setting, connectivity with the community and affordability as key reasons for choosing the university. CSU also focuses on providing an Engaged Learning experience that links classroom instruction with experiential learning and career opportunities through partnerships with multiple community institutions and businesses, from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Cleveland Clinic to Sherwin-Williams and Parker Hannifin.
"Nationally, urban universities are experiencing growth because of the real-world opportunities and linkages they offer, and this is boosted even more by the momentum that is unique to Cleveland right now," adds Berkman.
In addition, CSU has placed a priority on student success, developing a range of initiatives over the last five years specifically designed to improve retention and graduation rates while also reducing student debt. The university was the first in the state of Ohio to offer multi-term registration, which allows students to plan their entire academic year in advance and better balance academic requirements with other priorities. It also implemented a 120-credit-hour standard for most degree programs, reducing the time and courses needed to complete a degree.
These efforts have reduced the cost of earning an undergraduate degree and can accelerate completion by up to an entire year. In recognition of this progress, the university received the 2015 Excellence and Innovation Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.