A Comprehensive Analysis: YU Enrollment Data
For the Spring 2020 semester, the Yeshiva University undergraduate population has remained mostly stagnant, rounding off at 1,865 full-time students. Compared to Fall 2018, this semester represents a loss of 99 students, a 5% decrease.
The Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB) continues to grow with a small 1.5% increase in enrollment on both campuses from Fall 2018 to Spring 2020. This is a peak for Syms, as it reaches its highest-ever number of total students and the highest-ever percentage of undergraduate students, with 697 students representing 37.3% of the undergraduate student body. On the Wilf Campus, the ratio is even greater, with 518 of 1021 (50.1%) undergraduate male students attending SSSB. This is in stark contrast to Yeshiva College (YC), which actually decreased by 40 students for an 8.4% change. Stern College for Women (SCW) had lower enrollment compared to Fall 2018, losing 69 students for an 8.6% loss.
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Trends in the Undergraduate Torah Studies (UTS) program continued from over the past six years (the beginning of available data), with a decrease across all the morning programs. Notably, James Striar School (JSS) enrollment decreased by 29% from Fall 2018 to Spring 2020. Over the same period, Isaac Breuer College (IBC) enrollment fell by 21 students, nearly 10%. Mazer Yeshiva Program (MYP) enrollment, however, rose from Fall 2018 to Spring 2020 by 1 student, reversing a trend of falling enrollment dating back to 2014.
In addition to this data, The Commentator examined data regarding full-time students from 2008 to the present. This analysis employed the multiplicative forecasting model created by the software provider Tableau, which has a 95% prediction interval, to forecast future enrollment rates.
According to the model, total undergraduates are predicted to fall to 1,810 students by 2022, which would represent a 2.9% drop in enrollment. All UTS programs are expected to shrink over the next two years with the exception of the Stone Beit Midrash Program (SBMP), which is expected to stagnate at 265 students.
The model also predicted decreases to the populations on both campuses of about 1.5% per year. This forecast fits with the model’s prediction of individual schools’ enrollment decreasing, except for the male SSSB program.
Upon further analysis of specific schools, some mitigating factors become apparent in the model. While it appears to predict future YC and SCW enrollment relatively precisely, SSSB enrollment for men and women varied greatly with a 25% and 40% margin of error, respectively. Accordingly, these numbers are not statistically relevant.
“Yeshiva University’s enrollment is consistent with declining national trends relating to undergraduate enrollment,” said Chief Enrollment Officer Chad Austein. “[W]e are projecting a robust incoming class of first-year students along with new students studying in Israel as a part of our S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program, which will inevitably result in strong numbers in years to come.”