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People walking in the crosswalk in front of Baker University Center at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Sep 8, 2023

OU expects similar enrollment numbers as last year

Ohio University is expecting incoming-student enrollment for the Fall Semester 2024 to be about the same as previous record-breaking years.

For the 2023 Fall Semester, OU had 4,517 first-year students enrolled at its Athens campus and are hoping to enroll roughly the same amount for the upcoming year, Vice President for Enrollment Management Candace J. Boeninger wrote in an email. 

“Interest in Ohio University is at an all-time high, and enrollment of new and continuing students on the Athens campus has been especially strong in the past couple of years,” Boeninger said in an email.

According to a previous The Post report, OU has had record breaking enrollment numbers for incoming students. 

The university had 4,441 first-year students in Fall 2022 and 4,516 year-students in Fall 2023 according to a university news release.

It’s too early for OU to project final enrollment of first-year students because of shifts in this year’s enrollment confirmation deadlines nationwide, Boeninger wrote in an email. However, she wrote the university plans to accommodate slightly smaller or larger class sizes if enrollment patterns change. 

“We work closely with academic and administrative leadership throughout the enrollment cycle, including the summer orientation season, to ensure that OHIO can accommodate the entering and returning classes well as they shape up,” Boeninger said in an email. 

2,462 first-year students and 91 transfer students have registered to attend Bobcat Student Orientation throughout the summer, University Spokesperson Samantha Pelham wrote in an email.

During the Spring or Summer 2024, OU Housing and Residence Life intends to take several residence halls offline, according to a previous The Post report on the housing master plan. 

The front four South Green dorms — Pickering, Brown, Crawford and McKinnon Halls — are going offline for capital improvements, according to the report. One hall is expected to be taken offline each year following the summer of 2024. 

All dorms are expected to be back online before the beginning of the 2024-25 Fall semester, Director of Housing and Residence Life Jneanne Hacker wrote in an email. Other housing opportunities including leased spaces at The Rivers will also be available to students. 

“All of Ohio University’s residence halls will be online for Fall 2024, as well as 618 master leased spaces at ‘The Rivers,’” Hacker wrote in an email. 

Having other spaces for students available also allows for Housing and Residence Life to prepare and accommodate for any change in enrollment patterns that may occur throughout the summer. 

“Housing and Residence Life’s occupancy management model is well positioned to respond to any change in enrollment while ensuring that we support the housing needs of first- and second-year students residing on campus,” Hacker wrote. 

OU is a sophisticated and advanced public university that is prepared for a variety of enrollment scenarios, and does not seek to enroll a specific ‘class size’ number, Boeninger wrote. 

“We are constantly working to understand how the University can best deliver on its mission as a public university and support our students well, and we know that planful, stable enrollment levels help us provide the distinctive Ohio University experience,” Boeninger wrote. 

The university is expecting about the same class size for incoming students as last year, Boeninger wrote. The increasing interest in OU is encouraging for the increasing retention and graduation rates, she wrote. 

“New incoming students have enrolled in record numbers, and we are encouraged by strong rates for fall-to-spring return, first-year retention, and four- and six-year graduation,” Boeninger said in an email. “These measures are all signs of the University’s ability to attract outstanding students and support their success.” 


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