LUBBOCK, Texas — College students across the country have had to make some difficult choices over the past year. For some, that meant not returning to the classroom. This week Lubbock Christian University released their enrollment numbers. With a total of 1,664 students on-campus this fall, the school has seen a 6% drop from this time last year.
“I think there’s probably uncertainty in our society right now,” said Randal Dement, LCU’s Vice President for Student Life. “I think that impacted some things, but we’re making adjustments. We’ve got a community to offer.”
The school saw their numbers drop by about 100 students – with last year’s number at approximately 1,770 students, according to university officials. LCU explained that their part time students were impacted the most.
“I think some students were a little bit nervous coming into this semester as would we go online, those kind of things,” said Dement. “But I think we were committed to face to face, to do whatever it takes compliance with the City Health officials, make sure we can meet face to face.”
However, as far as Covid-19, case numbers have been relatively mild on campus. School officials said there were only 6 active cases on campus as of noon on Monday.
“I would say they’ve taken care of it pretty good,” said Kara Young, an LCU student. “As soon as anybody gets symptoms, they’re straight to quarantine. So they’re very cautious.”
Students said all classes are in-person, with Covid-19 guidelines such as mask-wearing and social distancing. Students explained that they are doing their best to abide by all guidelines so they can continue to go have the face-to-face classroom experience.
“We’ve definitely been keeping our masks up everywhere, in class out of class, just kind of doing whatever we can to so we can come back to class,” said LCU student Mitch Stutler.
School officials explained that if this trend continues, they hope to see a increase in enrollment in the spring.
“I think moving forward, especially in the spring semester, you know, we’ll stay this course. And hopefully, confidence builds across our community across our campus and things that continue to change, healthcare wise, I think probably work in our favor,” said Dement. “More so than ever, our students just want to be here. And we want to make sure we have those pathways for them to be here.”
Although their enrollment dropped, LCU officials said they are proud of their strong first-year and full-time student retention rate, despite the challenges faced. LCU said their Hispanic community is growing as well. These are all things they hope will continue to increase in the future.