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Education

DSU breaks records with fall enrollment figures

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Delaware Public Media
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DSU has lofty goals over the next ten years, hoping to reach 10,000 students by 2030.

The university is now over halfway there, reporting over 5,649 students enrolled this fall - the most the school has ever seen.

Antonio Boyle is the Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management at DSU.

“We have been consistent in growing the institution over the last 12 cycles,” says Boyle. “And we are proud of that — even within the pandemic of last year, we were even to the year before.”

334 of those new students came from DSU’s acquisition of Wesley college, now called DSU Downtown. Boyle says that campus will be a major tool to attract new students.

“We know that that campus will do a whole lot,” Boyle says. “We have some outstanding goals for that campus and we have put in efforts to ensure that we expand not only our nursing program there and psych and sociology, the MOT program and beyond — but that campus is gonna be a focal point on the sciences.”

Boyle is also excited to see continued improvements in freshman retention, now over three-quarters of freshman are continuing their studies, which is higher than the national average. The university worked on improving those numbers over 7 years ago, and is aiming to keep 100 percent of students in school.

The number of undergraduates enrolled at DSU was a major factor in breaking the record. 429 more undergrads were enrolled compared to the previous year, now totalling 4,848.

The university is also seeing record numbers of enrollment in it’s graduate programs, which Boyle chalks up to greater emphasis on those degrees, including social work and educational leadership. DSU reports 801 graduate students enrolled, which is 193 more than the previous year.

This year, more in-state students were eligible for the Inspire Scholarship, expanded this year by state lawmakers, which now covers the full cost of tuition for eligible students.

Out of around 1,023 freshman students this year, 298 received the scholarship, which represents a 67 percent increase over last year, according to DSU.

Boyle says the efforts the university is doing now to attract and keep students is clearly working, and he’s confident DSU will be able to reach its goals.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.