The class of 2020 at Pitt-Greensburg is the biggest in-coming class the campus has had since 2007- with 338 enrolled first-year students- almost 100 more than the school had enrolled in Fall 2015.
Pitt-Greensburg strives to have 500 first-year students enroll each year. Since 2007, the enrollment rates have been low. Due to demographics, the campus draws 75 percent of its students from the local area. Because graduation rates at local high schools are decreasing, Pitt-Greensburg’s goal is to build a market base outside of Allegheny County.
“Our large freshman class is in part to our successful recruiting process,” Beth Tiedemann Director of Advising and Registrar said.
Admissions implemented new projects and initiatives this year including: contact with outside vendors, digital recruiting, and better scholarship packages. They also ran a student search for sophomores, in addition to juniors and seniors. This was the first time in history that Pitt-Greensburg recruited high school sophomores.
The hope was that by the time the students were seniors, they would already be exposed to what Pitt-Greensburg has to offer.
“Our ability to offer more attractive scholarship packages had a significant impact on attracting more freshman students,” Heather Kabala Director of Admissions said.
Of the 4,000 applications submitted this year, the number of direct applications had increased by 30 percent. The out-of-state applications had increased by 233 percent.
“Previously, the admissions office did not have the resources to support these types of recruitment initiatives that we really needed to stabilize enrollment.”
Students have recognized that there are more first-year students on campus this year, but just how noticeable is it?
“It’s a lot more noticeable in the dining hall than in the classroom for me. The line is a lot longer for lunch and dinner I am noticing,” Kaitlyn Schmidt- a senior at Pitt-Greensburg majoring in Visual and Performing Arts- said.
“Other than for the professor who has more to grade, it might not be drastically different,” Tiedemann said.
As for the residence halls, in College Hall there are three students in most of the rooms. In University Court, the majority of the apartments house five students. Last year, Pitt-Greensburg was able to keep housing two-per-room in College Hall and four-per-apartment in University Court.
“There is a perception that having three students per room in College Hall and five students per apartment in University Court is not normal, but it is,” Brian Root Assistant Director of Housing and Residence Life said. “The last two years when we weren’t at that capacity were actually the abnormalities,” he added.
Because of the increase in first-year students, Residence Life was on top of their game for Freshman Move-In Day on Aug. 25. Numerous volunteers were secured so the day could run as smoothly as possible. Residence Life has not made many changes to Move-In Day in a few years as their system has proved to be quick and efficient.
“With this large freshman class and some new programs in place like the Biochemistry major, the Spanish Education major, and the GEM Program, I think it’s a great time to be at Pitt-Greensburg,” Tiedemann said.