UAS enrollment is down, but better than expected

The University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau, shown on July 25, 2019 (Photo by David Purdy/KTOO)
The University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau, shown on July 25, 2019 (Photo by David Purdy/KTOO)

Enrollment is down that the University of Alaska Southeast, but not as much as university officials were expecting.

Lori Klein, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment, said the university had been expecting a 10 percent drop.

“We’ve landed at 5 percent down so we are down compared to last year, but not as much as we anticipated,” she said.

Klein said universities across the country expected even steeper declines — between 20 and 40 percent. A June report from the credit rating agency Fitch estimated enrollment declines between 5 and 20 percent nationally.

Between the University’s Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka campuses just over 2,000 students enrolled.

And, because there are more students on campus than university officials had planned for, faculty and staff had to adapt.

“As those enrollments bumped up, we had to go in and make physical adjustments to the classrooms,” Klein said.

Klein said students are following the university’s pandemic precautions. They are required to wear masks inside, but students are also masking up outside.

“In fact, my understanding is that they’re policing each other and making sure that people are appropriately being distanced, particularly when on campus,” she said.

It’s a quarter of the way through the semester, and Klein said the university is continuing to provide services, such as advising and counseling, remotely. Students can still request in-person appointments if needed.

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