WKU's Student Enrollment Declines

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky (WBKO) -- As of fall 2013, student enrollment at Western Kentucky University is down three hundred to four hundred students for the current academic school year. University officials say there are many factors causing this decline.

"The number of high school graduates is declining, along with the number of students is declining. So, we have a lot more competition for students who are available to go to school," said Bob Skipper, Director of Media Relations, WKU.

University officials say the changes in higher education will always cause fluctuation in their attendance.

"As the economy improves, more students who would typically come to school are opting to stay in the work place. They are finding jobs and rather than giving those jobs up, they're working," says Skipper.

With continuous changes, WKU is focusing on repairing this decline by attracting high quality students who strive to achieve.

"Admissions standards are going up. There is a certain level of student that is not being accepted directly into the university as quickly and as easily as in the past," Skipper says.

Three hundred to four hundred students may not sound like much of a dent in their enrollment, compared to the nearly 21,000 students attending WKU. However, university officials say this is still a cause for concern.

"It is a budgetary concern. Our budget each year is built on an enrollment projection. When we don't meet that projection, it causes a decline in revenue for us to use in the budget," says Skipper.

University officials say the major decline has been with traditional aged students.

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