Emeriti park OU student studying

This photo of OU junior Carmen Solitt, a wildlife conservation biology major, studying in her hammock at  OU’s Emeriti Park Tuesday provides a hint of the slower pace of the Athens Campus during summer semester. Photo by Conor Morris.

Ohio University’s summer semester enrollment is down compared to the same time last year, as of the usual date that the university sends its enrollment statistics to the state.

OU’s total enrollment across all of its campuses was 13,632 as of the 15th day of the summer semester, compared to 14,630 last summer at the same time. OU’s Athens-campus summer enrollment is also down, from 5,644 students last summer to 5,061 students this summer. The Athens campus totals are only for physical on-campus students, not those enrolled in online learning.

The cross-campus total and Athens-campus summer enrollment tallies for this year are down from a high of 15,240 students total across OU’s campuses during summer semester 2016 and a high of 6,337 Athens campus students in 2016.

At the same time, OU’s summer eLearning program’s enrollment has remained steady over the past several years. This summer, that total was 6,592, fluctuating from 6,340 in 2016, to 6,438 in 2017, to 6,722 in 2018.

However, due to OU’s multi-start online and summer programs, “fluctuations” in enrollment are common by the end of the summer term. As such,  these statistics should not be considered the final word on OU’s summer enrollment, according to Craig Cornell, the university’s senior vice provost for strategic enrollment management. He provided the numbers used in this story, which measure the university’s enrollment total as of the 15th day of the summer semester, when all public universities and colleges in Ohio typically submit their enrollment figures to the state.

According to final summer enrollment tallies from 2012 to 2017, OU’s physical summer enrollment has trended downward in recent years, but its eLearning (online classes) population has increased.

Meanwhile, OU’s summer regional enrollment – not including online learning – also has trended downward in recent years, from 2,563 in 2016 to 1,979 in 2019.

OU’s total enrollment last fall semester (fall 2018) as of the 15th day of that semester was also down by about 1,400 students (34,443 total students) compared to the same time in fall 2017,

Prior to the 2017 fall semester, the university had experienced record total enrollment growth each fall semester since at least 2009.

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