Enrollment at All-Time High
East Carolina University’s student population is within a whisker of 26,000, Steve Ballard told the East Carolina’s Board of Trustees Sept. 12. The preliminary count is 25,990.
“ECU has been by far the fastest-growing institution in the UNC system, and it’s the only rural institution with a substantial rate of growth,” Ballard said. “Our students are voting with their feet; they’re coming to ECU.”
The anticipated enrollment growth, Ballard said, will increase the revenue ECU receives from the state for enrollment growth and student credit hours.
While official enrollment figures will be available in mid-November, after review by the UNC Board of Governors, Ballard cautioned the trustees that ECU will continue to grow and that they must work together to plan for future growth.
“One thing we’ll be facing with this growth is how we can accommodate it,” he said. “I am a person who believes we must grow responsibly. We’re the access institution, the opportunity institution. I believe more growth is in our future. But we must size it so our board is satisfied, and we must answer the question of where the growth must occur.”
Ballard also said he would like to slow the rate of campus-based of tuition and fee increases, and proposed that the trustees recommend no more than a one-percent increase to student fees.
“We have to slow down the rate of increase what our students have to pay,” Ballard said. “We have doubled the cost of their tuition in a seven-year period.”
The Board of Trustees makes recommendations to the Board of Governors for all student fees, but for only a fraction of the total tuition bill. That part is known as campus-based tuition.