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Bobcats by the Numbers: Ohio University's undergraduate enrollment ranks third highest for fall 2015

This is the fifth in a weekly series comparing Ohio University to the other five Mid-American Conference universities in Ohio.

Despite enrollment increases and record-breaking class sizes, Ohio University's undergraduate enrollment is lower than some other universities in the state.

Out of the six Mid-American Conference universities in Ohio, OU had the third highest undergraduate enrollment for fall 2015 when looking at data from main campuses. The data for 2016 was not yet available at each university. 

The six MAC universities in Ohio include OU, Miami University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Toledo, Kent State University and the University of Akron.

OU had 17,965 undergraduate students enrolled at the Athens’ campus 15 days after classes started for fall 2015, according to OU's Office of Institutional Research

Kent State had the highest enrollment for fall 2015 with 23,607 undergraduate students at its main campus.

Akron was the only other university out of the six schools with more undergraduate students than OU enrolled at its main campus in fall 2015.

Baylee Gorham transferred to OU from the University of Cincinnati — which had 21,060 full-time undergraduate students enrolled during fall 2015 —  and said she notices a decrease in the number of students on campus. 

“It definitely has a different feel,” Gorham, a sophomore studying media arts and studies, said. “I think it’s a closer knit community when it’s smaller.”

She said it is easier for students to have better relationships with their professors at a smaller university. 

From 2009 to 2015, undergraduate enrollment at OU’s main campus saw about a 5 percent increase.

The Class of 2019 had the largest freshman class last year with 4,423 students. That was the third year in a row OU had a record-breaking freshman class size.

During a Sept. 9 meeting with OU officials and members of Athens City Council, OU President Roderick McDavis said he doesn't expect enrollment to increase too much going forward. 

"I think we are pretty comfortable where we are because what we're seeing is that the number is stable, and the quality is increasing within that number, so test scores are up and GPAs are up," McDavis said. 

Maddie Schroeder, a sophomore studying visual communication, said she feels the impact of OU’s increase in enrollment in her daily routine.

“You can kind of notice a bit of the overcrowd, especially in dining halls,” Schroeder said.

Keihla Hune, a fifth-year senior studying communication sciences and disorders, said she notices OU’s high enrollment, especially when she goes to study at the Front Room Coffeehouse.

“I’m taking a class online and my group partner and I try to meet here, but it is sometimes hard — especially mid-day — it’s a lot harder to find a place to sit,” Hune said.

The school with the lowest undergraduate enrollment in fall 2015 was Bowling Green with 14,334 students at its main campus.


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