Student enrollment continues to steadily increase after the Covid-19 pandemic
BUFFALO, NY — This year 478 new first-year students, 23 more than last year, enrolled at Canisius College for the fall 2022 semester, exceeding the goal of 475.
According to Danielle Ianni, the vice president of enrollment management at Canisius College, there were more factors involved in the original decline in enrollment than just the pandemic.
“There were definitely other factors," Ianni said. "What we're seeing is that there's a decline in the local marketplace, significantly with graduation rates in Erie County. As an institution, historically, we've relied on about 72 percent of what we call our primary market of Western New York. And in this past year, we're at 68 percent.”
Another factor is that, statistically, there are fewer students graduating from local high schools, with a five percent decline in Erie County. Ianni mentioned that the decline in high school graduates is a direct result of the recession of 2008, when fewer babies were born, resulting in fewer students starting high school – and fewer graduating. This is all part of what Ianni called the “Cliff of 2028."
If Canisius wants to get back to that 72 percent, Ianni said that they will have to attract more students than just those found here in Western New York. Ianni claimed that Canisius has a “five-year plan” to help enrollment grow within the college. One part of this plan is to increase Canisius’s geographical footprint by reaching out to students outside of Erie County. Canisius has already started this by sending admission counselors out on the road to travel in a more “geographically diverse area.” Canisius has also begun marketing to out-of-state areas to encourage more people to come to the college.