A closer look at college enrollment numbers amid pandemic
RY, Md. – COVID-19 closed the doors to many colleges, forcing students to learn from behind the keyboard.
But for Salisbury University, officials say, in order to help student needs, they decided to take a different route.
“We were the only university system in Maryland to offer hybrid and in-person classes throughout the entire semester last year,” said Spokesperson for Salisbury University, Jason Rhodes.
Rhodes tells 47ABC, the decision was made with students in mind…while also trying to keep enrollment numbers up.
“So we tried to make it a hybrid mix of classes so that students could feel safe while pursing their education.”
Tia Hobby, a current Senior at Salisbury University told us that even with the adjustments, it’s been hard to navigate her studies.
“I can actually tell you one word it’s difficult. It’s definitely different and difficult and it’s a huge change and huge adjustment, whether it’s your classes or your everyday life,” said Hobby.
Despite the school’s efforts, the pan emic still played a role in enrollment decline. Rhodes tells us that looking at the numbers from the fall of last year, they’ve seen a 7% drop.
“It was just a hair more than we anticipated, I think it’s fair to say we’re doing a lot better than some universities, but we are still feeling the same pain as far as decreased enrollment because of COVID-19,” said Rhodes.
47ABC also reached out to the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore–who did not want to go on camera at this time. However, they did provide us with a link to the University of Maryland statewide enrollment numbers.
For UMES, they had a total of 2,440 students in the fall of 2019. That dropped to 2,209 in the fall of 2020.
Regardless of the numbers, Hobby remains hopeful for future admisisons.
“I’m hopeful for some regularity back, some sort of something like what we were used to,” said Hobby.
In the meantime, Salisbury University officials tell us they’re offering some financial assistant to students, COVID testing, and interactive online activies.
So far, the school has distributed over 30,000 COVID tests and plan to distribute more in the spring semester.