Inauguration raises questions on rocky enrollment waves


On April 20, Shippensburg University made history by naming President Laurie Carter its 17 president. 

History unfolded this day because it made Carter the first permanent female African-American president of SU. Carter’s personal slogan after most speeches ends with “SU is making waves,” and for some time, the waves have been rocky, so hopefully with Carter’s help, the ride will be smooth sailing. 

SU attracts students because of its affordability but over the past four years, tuition has skyrocketed, making students’ prices go up every year and making it less affordable for students to attend SU. 

Living on campus used to be convenient for most students, but due to the increase in prices, upperclassmen urge sophomores and juniors to live off campus as soon as they can because it is more affordable.

Most of the residence halls are renovated, which makes the campus more attractive to high school students, but what is unattractive is how it is hurting the pockets of current students. 

Even though most of these issues have transpired before Carter became president, it is concerning to students how and when the issues will be addressed. 

During her speech, she touched on the enrollment rate and the quality of education, but what really matters is Carter showing a continued effort to the SU students that these issues will be addressed. 

“At Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, the graduation rate is 56 percent within 150 percent normal time, the retention rate is 75 percent and the transfer rate is 33 percent, as of Aug. 31, 2016,” according to the

For almost two years, students have left SU to attend different schools, and the failing enrollment rates equal less funding and reserved funding. 

As of 2008, there were a total of 7,942 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and in 2013 there were a total of 7,548 students.

Finally, in 2017, there were a total of 6,989 students, according to SU Common data set. 

Let’s hope in the coming years that the enrollment rate will increase and the retention rate increases with Carter in charge, because based on the statistics, SU has lost almost one thousand students since 2008.

There is significance in Carter having an open forum with the entire student body to talk about these issues so students can know the current position of the university and what will be done to address the problems. 

Honesty is key during times like this because it affects the students and their education at the end of the day, and no one wants to put his or her blood, sweat and tears on the line for nothing. 

Even though a lot is on Carter’s plate with the status of SU, she is bringing positivity back to the university, which signifies her determination for students and faculty to be in accord. 

For SU to fully succeed, Carter’s waves of kindness will need to reassure students that they can band together during tough times, because without struggle there is no progress.

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