Fall 2017 enrollment is down 3 percent at Lamar compared to Fall 2016.

Fall 2017 enrollment is down 3 percent at Lamar compared to Fall 2016.

Lamar University is expected to see a 3-percent decrease overall for the fall 2017 semester enrollment taken on the 12th class day, compared to that of the fall 2016 taken on the 20th class day. While graduate enrollment has declined, undergraduate enrollment held steady with a decrease of only six students.

Cruse Melvin, executive director for strategic planning, said the decline in graduate students is directly attributed to Hurricane Harvey, as many graduate students are older and have had to deal with loss from the storm.

“(Graduate enrollment) will likely come back,” he said.

Melvin quoted LU President Kenneth Evans, saying, “We began the fall semester dedicated to the provisions of the outstanding education Lamar University is known for, far and wide. In spite of the setbacks caused by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, the university weathered the storm well and will continue supporting our students, faculty and staff.”

Numerous accommodations were made for students in respect to the troubles caused by Harvey, Melvin said.

“We extended registration, late registration fees were waived, we revised the academic calendar and we’ve tried to secure additional resources to help students, and we’ve been fairly successful,” he said. “It’s devastating what’s happened to our students, and it’s not just our students, but our faculty and staff.

“The faculty, staff and administration responded swiftly and generously to encourage, accommodate and retain students. Three additional Harvey sessions were created for later start dates.”

Although Lamar’s overall numbers will be down, some areas will experience growth, Melvin said.

“Cardinal Village occupancy is at an all-time high, transfer student enrollment rose, and the incoming freshman class is among some of the best prepared students to date,” Melvin said.

­“The university is so proud of the individual and organized efforts by numerous students and employees to assist those in need by both on campus and off. These efforts will continue for some time to come.”

Complete figures are due to be released later this week administration officials said. The UP website will post updated numbers as they are made available.

Story by Shelby Strickland, UP managing editor

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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