Enrollment down, retention rate up at LCSC
The October 15 census report shows that enrollment for the fall 2013 semester at Lewis-Clark State College has decreased from a year ago, but the retention rate has gone up.
LCSC's overall enrollment dropped by 4.88% this fall compared with last fall, with a total headcount of 4304. The LCSC Coeur d'Alene Center saw an increase of 5.7% for a total student headcount of 484. The Social Sciences and Humanities divisions saw increases in their enrollments and there are 3.3% more seniors at LCSC compared to a year ago. There was also an increase in Native American students enrolling at the college. The average age of LCSC students held at 25 years of age. The college's retention rate climbed nearly 10% to a rate of 59%.
The fall 2013 degree-seeking applications were down slightly heading into the semester. The number of students applying and enrolling directly from high school was virtually flat and the overall number of freshmen applying and enrolling for fall 2013 was also flat. The number of non-traditional degree-seeking students dropped significantly.
The college served 3165 students in non-credit Workforce Training courses during fiscal year 2013 and 1075 students in non-credit community outreach courses offered in communities including Grangeville and Orofino.
College officials anticipated a drop in enrollment given the improving economy and recent changes in federal financial aid regulations that have precluded many students from keeping or obtaining federal financial aid. Students are not able to receive Pell Grants for as long as they used to and if students' academic progress slips, it's more difficult for them to retain their aid eligibility.
"A significant number of students with older college credits who come back to school to pursue a different major are finding that they cannot complete their degree programs within new time limits established by the feds," said Andy Hanson, LCSC Vice President for Student Affairs. "By federal policy, when the college makes this determination, we are unable to award federal aid."
Hanson said internal initiatives at the college have contributed to the rise in retention rates.
"Our retention increase is due in part to a new, intrusive advising program intended to eliminate the number of times students change their majors and to provide students with a clearer focus on careers after college," Hanson said. "This is contributing to students making better choices about classes and majors."
For more information please contact Andy Hanson, LCSC Vice President for Student Affairs at 208.792.2218 or AHanson@lcsc.edu.