Economy down, enrollment down

With the economy at a low and the need for education at a high, it is shocking that UVSC’s women enrollment has dropped.

The trend in the United States tends to be that when the economy dips down, the need for more education and better preparation increases, meaning that college enrollment numbers also increase.

When the availability of jobs is higher, however, people are less likely to pursue higher education, making work the priority.
UVSC, unfortunately, is going against national trends and is proving that to be false, but only among females. 

Close to 10 years ago, the women to men enrollment ratio at UVSC was almost even, being 49-51 percent. Now that the economy is at a decline, enrollment is closer to 42-58 percent, showing that less women and more men are making their way to campus.

All of the reasons for the decrease are unknown, but many believe that it stems from the predominate LDS culture. In surrounding areas of UVSC campus, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plays a strong roll in the way community members live their lives. 

There is more focus on marriage and family at younger ages along with importance of men and women’s rolls, then found in the rest of the country.

"I am surprised that less women are going to school, but I understand it," said Kristin Alomia, former UVSC student. "I was married at 19 and had a baby at 20.  Now I’m 22 and pregnant again. They don’t have too many resources to help someone like me go to college."

While the enrollment decrease is serious, it is also unique. In almost all other colleges across United States, women enrollment has gone up.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2006, the "college enrollment rate of young women [coming directly from high school] was at 66.0 percent," higher than ever before.
"In 1970, 39 percent of all graduate students were women, but in 1996, 56 percent of graduate students were women." T

The Institute of Education Sciences stated, "While 9 percent of the students in first-professional degree programs were women in 1970, by 1996, 40 percent of part-time and 42 percent of full-time first-professional students were women."

Those numbers continued to rise, everywhere but here. 

With untapped demographics not attending the school, UVSC is in a frenzy to pick up the slack. New and innovative ways to gain more female support are in the making, especially with the change from a state college to a university.

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