Student headcount increases for Spring 2017 semester

Hunter Wallace
Staff Writer

EnrollGraphic By Vinny Croce | The Hudsonian

The spring 2017 semester is seeing increased enrollment and financial gain for the college’s annual budget.

“We have approximately 900 new students for spring 2017,” said Dennis Kennedy, director of communications and marketing.

11,500 total students are enrolled for Spring 2017 which is an increase from Spring 2016’s 10,523 headcount.

“In January, we call it the ‘January jump-in,’ just to separate ourselves from the pack of colleges advertising for Fall 2017. We also want to cut through that marketing clutter and say, ‘But you can also start in January,’” Kennedy continued.

With new student enrollments come extra funding via tuition and other costs that are incorporated into the college’s annual budget.

“The annual budget for the college is calculated, based on total enrollment, which includes all the different enrollment periods. Spring enrollment is certainly an important part of the college’s overall financial picture,” said Kennedy.

The option for students to attend college in spring is something that not all institutions of higher education can offer.

“Unlike a lot of four-year colleges, [Hudson Valley] provides students with an opportunity to begin higher education in the new year,” said Kennedy.

“The spring is typically an enrollment period where we enroll students who may be considered ‘non-traditional students’ – adult students and those that are returning after being out of college or high school,” said Kennedy.

The college also offers courses that include “Spring Start” options.

“There are 27 programs that have a ‘Spring Start.’ These are primarily health sciences, engineering and technology, since there’s a cohort of students that go through the program together and learn in a sequential order,” said Kennedy.

The college uses branding in order to shape its image to appeal to potential students.

“We have designed a brand that highlights the unique differentiators for Hudson Valley, and those are the core messages for our campaign throughout the year. We’re trying to highlight the fact that your education comes without much debt; the line that we’ve been using is ‘create opportunity, not debt,'” said Kennedy.

The social aspect of a community college is also incorporated into Hudson Valley’s branding.

“[Hudson Valley] is not a college without extracurricular activities, a place where students will find themselves in large lecture halls or not get to know people. Our students have a personal experience here, meaning we have small class sizes, our students get to know their faculty and they benefit from individual academic and peer support programs.”

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