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How Ohio Higher Education is Responding to Decline in College Enrollment

Former president of the Board of Education in Dayton Adil Baguirov is here to discuss how higher education is responding to declining college enrollment in the state of Ohio. As a resident of Dayton, Adil Baguirov is a business owner, speaker, and technology junkie who is in-tune with Ohio education and its current state of affairs.

A recently revealed trend in Ohio education that has caught Baguirov’s eye is that of declining enrollment at the state’s public colleges such as Dayton. Adil Baguirov has learned that while Ohio colleges are in search of their next wave of college students, many of them will have to look outside of the state to prevent their enrollment numbers from declining.

Studies show that in the next five to seven years the number of high school students in Ohio is expected to decrease. This puts a serious burden on Ohio’s 13 public colleges and universities when it comes to enrollment stability.

It is believed that the decline in high school students is because of the 2008 recession in the United States. During this time, people were having fewer children. Another theory for the decline of high school students in the Midwest was produced by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The study revealed that the trend was due largely in part to there being fewer white graduates in Ohio.

But it’s not just Ohio that has been affected. There are expected to be fewer high school students in the coming years in the states that surround Ohio as well. In total, the number of high school graduates in the region is expected to decline around 12 percent by 2031.

The proof can be seen at Kent State, an Ohio public university that saw its enrollment increase 32 percent in 10 years but is now seeing is number drop.

One of the main reasons behind Kent State’s enrollment decline is the loss of international students. The number of international students is decreasing across the United States, but Kent State alone lost 1,000 just last year. This is mostly due to increased competition from places like Australia, Canada, and Great Britain.

So how are higher education institutions in Ohio combatting this trend?

One strategy they’re using is bringing in more transfer students by building stronger relationships with nearby community colleges. Ohio public colleges and universities have also altered their admissions criteria to help better suit the student of today. More emphasis on student retention by these public institutions has also helped maintain or increase enrollment numbers.

But the strategy that could end up working the best for these Ohio higher education institutions is finding college students from out of state who want to enroll. There are states out west like Texas, Colorado and California that are actually seeing an increase in high school students, so these are excellent areas to target for out-of-state enrollment.

So what’s next for Ohio universities like Dayton? Adil Baguirov isn’t exactly sure, but he will certainly be keeping an eye on this enrollment trend and he will continue to keep his blog updated with information.

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