Moving in or moving on: the new students, transfers report


While many think enrollment went down, the report to the college community from the Board of Trustees Meeting on Thursday, April 30, said overall enrollment actually went up 77 students from the spring of 2008 to the spring of 2009.

Mercyhurst North East is up 125 students from last year in their enrollment.

Graduate programs are at a record high with an additional 36 students.

In fact, the only two sectors of the Mercyhurst student population that are down are Erie County students (down 79) and adult students (down 23).

Incoming freshman student’s enrollment is ahead of schedule. With four months remaining in the admission cycle, confirmations are 13 ahead of last year at this time.

Even so, 129 more freshmen enrollee’s confirmations are needed to meet the 665 goal. The admissions office can still pull from the other 1,139 applications in case confirmations fall short of 129.

Vice President of Enrollment Dr. Michael Lyden said this is a record-breaking year for students transferring into the

"A few years ago we had about 90 new transfer students and this year we may break that," he said.

According to Lyden, the bulk of these students are from Erie County.

"These are students who went away to school somewhere, often times a private school and for whatever reason, they come back to Erie," Lyden said.

Students transfer in and out of college for three main reasons. The number one reason is for programs. If a student’s current college doesn’t have a program or it is stronger somewhere else, they transfer. The second most popular reason is financial.

College is expensive and even the best program can’t keep some students at their college of choice. The third is to move closer to home.

"We find that a lot of our transfer students are coming from the local Erie area. … For whatever reason, being closer to their families is their priority," Lyden said.

Beyond those top three reasons, there are "hundreds of other reasons students transfer," Lyden explained.

In order to keep students at the college Lyden said, "At the end of the day it’s all about communication and information sharing among all of the staff."

Lyden explained how one person can impact a student’s experience negatively and positively.

"The saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ applies to the college experience too," he said.

Everyone from the registrar’s office down to Police and Safety contribute to a student’s experience and Mercyhurst aims to get a full picture of their students in order to understand their reasons for leaving.

"We have a representative from almost every aspect of that student’s experience and their exit interview so we can make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes and to anticipate potential problems," Lyden said.