Student enrollment down at ECU

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - Student enrollment numbers are down at East Carolina University after a record number of students enrolled last fall.

Because of decreased enrollment, ECU could receive less state funding this year. Administrators say they are working to find more creative and innovative ways to attract students to the school.

ECU's Vice Provost for Academic Success says he was surprised enrollment did decrease this year. Last year, the university touted its record enrollment of 29-thousand 131 students. This year's census shows enrollment dropped by 1-point-4 percent.

Both undergraduate and graduate numbers went down. The university is funded on student credit hours completed so they could receive less state funding due to this drop in enrollment.

This raises some concerns for faculty members at the university. Faculty Chair Jeff Popke said, "If this were to continue over a number of years then yes I think it hurts our ability to do things like provide faculty and staff raises, to add new faculty lines, to establish new programs, to start new research endeavors. All that costs money of course."

The vice provost made it clear that in the short term, if they do see less funding, they will have to make budget adjustments, but he could not comment on any specific cuts.