At one point, Troy University's Dothan campus enrolled over 2,000 students but now it's almost half that number. We spoke with university officials today to see why the decline. Clif Lusk, the Troy University Relations Coordinator says it's simply a change in the way students are counted.
"There were students that were technically Dothan campus students but were taking all of their classes online. They were counted at that time as Dothan students there was a shift that occurred and those students were changed to online students regardless of where their home is or their home location is so really it was a counting shift that changed the numbers for us," said Lusk.
So the number may not have declined as much as it appeared to, but in the last year enrollment has declined by more than ten percent.
"We're about 150 students off over the previous spring so it is a decline but it's cyclical in nature. It's not a major slide in enrollment," said Lusk.
He says there are many reasons for the decline.
"One of the really significant things that impacted our enrollment was the change in the Pell Grant program and that's hit every university all over the country. The summer semester Pell Grant was completely eliminated and then the limits of the grant have changed as well so that you see fewer people qualify... Our sequestration with our military students impacted us and the changes to military tuition assistance," said Lusk.
But he doesn't believe the numbers will continue to drop; in fact he says with new changes coming to the campus, enrollment will increase. Along with new programs in the works, the Dothan campus will switch to a five term schedule instead of semesters. Lusk says that will make it easier for working adults to find classes to fit their schedules.
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