President Potter’s enrollment nightmare, Part III

Last spring, the Potter administration predicted that attendance at St. Cloud State would be down by 2.8%-3.2%. When I wrote this post based on a report put together by Dr. Tom Fauchald on Aug. 16, 2013, FYE enrollment for the fall semester at St. Cloud State was down by 18.4%. By comparison, Makato’s enrollment was down by 11.4% while Moorhead’s enrollment was down 9.1%.


FYI- Dr. Fauchald’s reports are based on MnSCU’s enrollment figures. Dr. Fauchald’s figures are the only figures I’ve used in my posts. Finally, all of Dr. Fauchald’s reports are based on FYE (Full-year Equivalents) enrollment figures.

The next post I wrote about was from the Aug. 22, 2013 report. According to that report, St. Cloud State’s enrollment had improved. Still, it was down by 15.6% compared with Mankato’s enrollment still being down by 8.4% and Moorhead’s enrollment down by 5.7%.

Thursday afternoon, I got the MnSCU report dated Sept. 4, 2013. Moorhead’s FYE enrollment is still down 3.8%, followed by Winona State at 3.3% and Mankato State by 2.1%. The bad news from the report again belonged to St. Cloud State, which is still down by 12%. This is from Dr. Fauchald’s report:

The state universities are getting close to what they will be winding up for enrollment, with the exception of Southwest, which will see an additional 700 PSEO FYEs in Sept. With the exception of St. Cloud the state universities are looking fairly good, given that enrollments across the entire system are down. St. Cloud is, of course, a major problem in that it looks like they will have a decrease in enrollment of 10% (in the past, St. Cloud hasn’t had a great deal of PSEO credits).

That’s startling news, though it isn’t a big surprise for SCSU. It’s likely that the next report will be the official 10-day report from SCSU. After that, the next (and last) enrollment report will be the 30-day report.

While it’s likely that the 10- and 30-day enrollment figures will be better for SCSU, it’s impossible to picture the 30-day enrollment report to not show at least a 10% drop in enrollment from last year’s 30-day enrollment report. According to Dr. Fauchald’s report, St. Cloud State should expect $5,300,000 less in tuition revenue for the 2013 Fall Semester.

Special notice: The 10-day enrollment report isn’t based on FYE enrollment figures. It just counts the number of students who’ve registered for classes for the Fall Semester. Total enrollment figures are great PR figures but they aren’t that accurate in determining the health of a university or the revenues a university should expect for the semester.

Finally, if SCSU’s fall semester enrollment is off another 10% this year, it will mark the 4th straight year of sharply declining enrollments for St. Cloud State. If these figures hold, FYE enrollment at St. Cloud State will have shrunk by over 20% in 4 years.

That certainly isn’t the recipe for success.

Comments welcome at Let Freedom Ring.