Boise State has been working on providing a safe and easy transition into an online semester. Kristine Collins, associate vice president of Enrollment Services, spoke about the transition and how Boise State enrollment has been affected by the coronavirus.
According to Collins, at the end of the 2020 spring semester, Boise State was expecting a record high of incoming freshmen. However, because of the uncertainty of the fall semester and online classes, enrollment numbers are expected to drop.
“Currently, we are actually slightly up in enrollment for the fall but we don’t expect it to stay up. We probably expect it to be about flat, maybe slightly down,” Collins said. “That has contributed to the fact that coronavirus numbers are continuing to go up in our area, so some people are having second thoughts about coming to campus. Some students are experiencing more and more of their classes going online, and are maybe deciding to not attend.”
Boise State has already started to recruit their fall 2021 class and expects enrollment numbers to be even, or slightly below average, compared to the fall 2020 class. Since the beginning of the campus-closure in March, the university has provided virtual campus tours, virtual town hall meetings, as well as several virtual events including Bronco Day.
“For continuing students, as well as new students, to make sure we can answer any questions they might have to see if there is anything we can do to maybe help with advising or enrollment,” Collins said.
Collins encourages students to reach out to admissions and their advisors if they are experiencing any problems.
Due to an overwhelming amount of classes being online, Boise State is honoring their decision to freeze tuition, as well as waive a 35 dollar per-credit fee for online courses.
Kelly Talbert, director of Boise State Admissions, spoke about how adapting to the “new normal” has worked for enrollment in the fall.
“In March, our team pivoted to campus tours, information sessions, and events entirely in a virtual space,” Talbert said. “I am proud of how quickly we pulled that off. While nothing really matches an in-person experience, we have gotten really positive feedback from students and parents who’ve attended our virtual events.”
When discussing the possibility of lower enrollment rates due to fall sports being postponed, Talbert remarked how Boise State Admissions plans and projects for what the future will look like.
“Fall sports may be postponed or limited right now, but come fall 2021 when they arrive, the picture could be totally different,” Talbert said. “Is it possible that limited sports at this time will keep them from applying? It’s possible. However, as long as the Mountain West is making choices that are similar to the PAC-12 or other conferences, I’d suggest that this won’t have a major effect on enrollment either way.”
Junior English major Zachary Berreth has chosen to be optimistic about the school year and the current state of events on campus. He is excited to continue classes virtually at Boise State this year and limit his exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
“I understand a kind of drop-in student morale. This is an uncertain time and there’s definitely a lot of anxiety that’s going to be going into this semester, even more anxiety than what we as students normally have,” Berreth said. “At the same time, we can’t put our lives on hold because of the virus. We have to be careful about it, but we just have to keep pushing through this. If the human race as a whole is anything, it is resilient.”