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September 20, 2019

SVSU enrollment down, but freshman class up nearly 20 percent over 2017

Saginaw Valley State University saw an overall enrollment decline for the 2019 fall semester, but it enrolled a much larger freshman class than 2016 or 2017, after increasing the number of first-time students by 28% last year.

SVSU welcomed 1,470 incoming freshmen this fall, a 19.5% increase over the 1,230 new students in fall 2017, though down from last year’s freshman class of 1,576.

“Last year’s freshman class far exceeded our most optimistic projections, and we knew it would be difficult to match that total, particularly as the number of high school graduates in Michigan continues to decline,” said Deborah Huntley, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Our Admissions staff, along with faculty and staff across the university, worked hard to make connections with students and show them the value of an SVSU degree, so we are pleased with our student recruitment efforts for the incoming class.”

Overall, SVSU has 8,265 students taking classes for the 2019 fall semester, down from 8,535 last year.

Institutional efforts to diversify the international student population paid dividends, as SVSU welcomed new students from 32 separate countries this fall.  In all, 427 international students are taking classes, representing 43 countries overall.

“A few years ago, the lion’s share of our international students came from just two countries, China and Saudi Arabia,” Huntley said. “We have expanded outreach in Africa and in parts of Asia, and we’re seeing more students from those areas, as a result.”

SVSU’s housing, ranked No. 4 overall and No. 1 in the nation among public universities, continues to attract students, as 71% of the freshman class is living on campus.

The academic preparedness of the 2018 freshman class mirrors recent years with an average high school GPA of 3.4.

Fall classes at SVSU began Monday, Aug. 26.