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Penn State enrollment numbers show more underrepresented and international students

Old Main, the administration building on the campus of Penn State University.
Old Main, the administration building on the campus of Penn State University.

On Friday, Penn State released fall 2022 enrollment numbers that show the university has 88,116 students enrolled across all of its campuses.

At University Park, that's 1,478 more students than pre-pandemic. But over that same time period, commonwealth campuses have seen an enrollment decrease of 4,101 students.

This year's enrollment total was a decrease at the undergraduate level of 0.4%, which is better than the national average of 1.1%.

The university reports an increase in international students of 6.7%, or 620 students.

"We are undoubtedly seeing a surge in international enrollment as a result of numerous governments around the world removing their quarantine and isolation restrictions, creating a return to pre-COVID travel mobility," said Roger Brindley, vice provost for Penn State Global, in a press release. "The increase in our international student enrollment is incredibly promising, even as the global pandemic is clearly still affecting many international students' ability to travel."

And the number of minority students (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Native Alaskan, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) increased by 5.2% over last year. Penn State president Neeli Bendapudi refrained from celebrating.

"And on our underrepresented students, again a priority for this board and for us, it continues to increase," Bendapudi said. "But honestly, it's still … the base is low. So there's still a lot more that we need to do."

World Campus saw a decrease of 8.9%. Penn State says that's due to a return to in-person learning after the pandemic, though the numbers are still lower than fall 2019.

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Katie Knol is a WPSU radio news intern for fall 2022.