By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
If the University of Toledo is to increase its enrollment, it will have to be done at the expense of other Ohio schools, President Vik Kapoor said yesterday.
“The number of college students in Ohio every year is constant, and it’s going to stay constant,” he said. “So if the University of Toledo is to see its enrollment go up, it will come at the expense of the other universities in the state. And the competition means we have to give a unique, quality education if we want to succeed.”
Dr. Kapoor made his comments at a meeting of the East Toledo Club at Cousino’s Cafe Chez Vin, 2022 Woodville Rd.
The university’s enrollment has dropped from about 25,000 in 1991 to fewer than 20,000 this year. Dr. Kapoor said students pay the university, on average, about $3,000, and the state of Ohio subsidizes another $3,000 per student.
That means the university is losing about $30 million a year because of the enrollment decline.
“Our campus was designed to have 30,000 students, not 20,000,” he said. “We need to reclaim the enrollment we lost.”
He said he plans a more aggressive marketing campaign throughout Ohio to draw more students. He said most Ohioans don’t know of the university’s assets, like its Bancroft Street campus.
“People in other parts of Ohio assume the University of Toledo is in some depressed neighborhood. They don’t know we have such a beautiful campus,” he said.
He said the university will focus on ways to differentiate itself from other Ohio schools, including more aggressive scholarship efforts, better teachers, and better cooperation with local industry.
Dr. Kapoor said the university’s efforts are beginning to pay off; he said applications for the fall semester are up 20 per cent from this time in 1999.
He said the university will match the scholarships the East Toledo Club gives each year to local students if they attend the university. The club gives one or more scholarships every year to Waite High School seniors who have volunteered in the community. Their total worth ranges from $500 to $2,000 annually, Carolyn Hecklinger, club president, said.