Enrollment for spring semester reflects booming regional economy

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Enrollment for spring semester reflects booming regional economy

A vibrant regional economy, led by a boom in energy-related companies, has led to more job availability and fewer students enrolled in spring semester classes at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

In a preliminary enrollment report to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Northwestern reported 1,993 students enrolled in spring semester classes, compared with 2,138 a year ago.

The decrease in spring enrollment comes just a semester after Northwestern reported its largest fall semester class in 43 years.

Dr. Janet Cunningham, president of Northwestern, said the robust economy is postponing the plans of some students to attend college.

“The oil and gas boom in our area has matured and is not only creating quality jobs in the energy sector, but in secondary businesses as well,” Cunningham said. “Some students who would normally be attending college are taking advantage of these jobs. We are beginning to experience what some of the schools in the nation’s other large energy boom areas have experienced.

“We were very fortunate to experience an enrollment gain last fall when many other schools reported smaller enrollments,” she added. “That being said, interest in Northwestern for next fall remains high, and we look forward to serving as many students as possible. The combination of quality academics and affordability remains attractive to students and their families.”

Enrollment by campus shows 1,305 students in Alva, 285 enrolled at Enid and 214 attending classes in Woodward.

Enrollment at Northwestern’s outreach sites, including the University Center of Ponca City, was nearly unchanged at 162 students, and the number of high school students enrolled in concurrent classes rose by 12 to 73 students.