Kellen Stepler | Staff Writer
The freshman class of 2019 has one major difference compared to the previous two classes — this year’s class has about 200 fewer students.
According to Duquesne University’s census, completed in Sept. 2018, there were 1,512 freshman enrolled at Duquesne. As of Aug. 27, 2019, there are 1,315 freshman in this year’s class. Final figures will be available after the university census on Sept. 27, 2019.
According to Kelley Maloney, the assistant vice president for enrollment marketing and communications in the Enrollment Management Group, the smaller class size isn’t just a Duquesne enrollment trend, but rather a national one.
“There is significant competition for a declining number of academically competitive high school students within our primary markets,” Maloney said. “This was identified early in the recruitment cycle, and freshman enrollment objectives were modified accordingly.”
Maloney also cites the varying interest in certain majors. Duquesne offers 85 majors in nine different schools of study.
One effort to influence prospective students to apply and enroll at Duquesne is through exposure and communication. The university is now available on CommonApp, which is a college admission application that applicants may use to apply to more than 800 colleges in the U. S. Duquesne being accessible on the CommonApp can “provide new exposure to prospective students,” according to Maloney.
“Other efforts, such as new academic program introductions, competitive scholarship and financial aid programs, investment in career services, more efficiencies in operations, working to develop other markets, etc., can all support enrollment,” Maloney said. “Efforts continue to enroll more transfer and second-degree undergraduate students.”
Nationally, most of Duquesne’s students come from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. According to university data, 69.53% of undergraduate students were from Pennsylvania in the spring 2019 academic period. New York, the second most Duquesne-enrolled state, accounts for 6.89% of the undergraduate population in the spring 2019 academic period.
In the commonwealth, the majority of Duquesne undergraduate students come from the Pittsburgh area. For the Spring 2019 academic period, 40.66% of undergrads came from Allegheny County.
Although smaller, the University boasts that the class of 2023 is one of the most academically talented classes in Duquesne’s history. Maloney explains that this is based upon high school average GPA and standardized test scores.
“This class is one of the most economically and racially diverse freshman classes. Some of the top reasons these incoming freshmen chose Duquesne are include academic reputation, urban location, program of study, and their campus tour and visit,” Maloney said.