John Applegate, IU executive vice president for university academic affairs
John Applegate, IU executive vice president for university academic affairs

The COVID-19 pandemic was expected to result in significant enrollment declines for higher education, but Indiana University was able to avoid a substantial drop for the fall semester. Total enrollment for the university, as well as its flagship Bloomington campus, fell by less than 1% from last fall.

It was welcome news for an institution that began trimming its budget in the spring to prepare for potential financial fallout. Although IU is a public institution, the majority of its revenue comes from tuition and fees.

IU administrators can breathe a sigh of relief for now, but it’s hard to say what lasting effects the pandemic will have on the higher education landscape. 

“I think we’re all waiting to see,” said John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs. “One of the points I made to the trustees is that we don’t really know at this point whether the people who’ve delayed are going to then come back in subsequent years and do what they originally planned to do.”

Applegate presented official enrollment figures to the IU Board of Trustees earlier this month. Enrollment of degree-seeking students across all IU campuses is 90,090, down about 0.7% from fall 2019. The 42,552 students enrolled at IU Bloomington is a decline of about 0.5% from last year.

© 2020 HeraldTimesOnline, Bloomington, IN