The school is expecting another increase in the number of freshmen students
Emmitsburg, Md (KM). Another school year is getting underway on Monday,August 20th at Mount Saint Mary’s University. President Tim Trainor says freshmen enrollment continues to grow. “We are 571 right now which is close to our largest class ever,” he says. “It will be our second largest class ever. And it’s another growth from last year.”
“Last year’s freshmen class that came in was 24% larger than the previous year. Now this one is even bigger, about 9% bigger than last year’s class. So we continue to grow.”
President Trainor says many small private college are experiencing declines as fewer college age men and women are enrolling as full time undergraduates. “If you look at it, the number of students of college age across the country is flattening out. It’s not a growth industry. It creates more competition overall among colleges for full time undergraduate students,” he says.
But there is growth in another class of college students. “The percent growth of people looking to continue their studies–what we typically refer to as adult education, going back to college to earn their degree–that is actually growing,” says President Trainor.
He says in some cases, it’s the parents of college age students being unable afford the tuition and other fees at small, private institutions. “The number of families that can afford a private education is declining. And so there’s a dynamic there where we’ve got to, and we are, responding and adjusting our pricing strategies and our financial aid so we can be affordable, and we are affordable,” says President Trainor.
Most students who come to the Mount are receiving some form of financial aid, says Trainor. But students who feel they need more monetary assistance to pay for their education should go to the financial aid office and apply.
Other reasons for the drop in the number of college age students enrolling as is some may feel they can succeed without a college education. But Trainor says working hard to achieve that college diploma has its benefits. “But the numbers all show and the earnings potential all show that it is a good sound, investment to go to college, and earn a college degree. That your earnings potential post graduation are significantly better in most cases,” he says.
Trainor says there are no new programs being introduced this year at the Mount. But the school will be building on several programs w which began last year. One of the most popular is cybersecurity. “We have a number of students coming in desiring to get into that program. With everything going on in the world, it’s a wonderful discipline to be in, and the demand for jobs in that sector are great,” says President Trainor. The program recently received a $1-million E-novation grant from the Maryland Department of Commerce.
“We introduced at mid-year in January a major in Entrepreneurship. And that is taking off. So this will be the first full year of this major. I’m very excited to see where that goes,” he says.
An interdisciplinary program introduced last year will continue this year, Trainor says. “This will be the second year of a multidisciplinary major in philosophy, politics and economics. And that we’re seeing strong demand from that from the incoming class.”
President Trainor says a student who pursues this major could end up working for the federal government, or in business or law. .
By Kevin McManus