Keene State College has hit its enrollment goal this spring for the incoming freshman class.
That goal, more modest than in years past, reflects an overall downsizing of the college in response to regional demographic trends.
Many schools in the northeast have been struggling to stabilize enrollment as local high school class sizes, and therefore general application pools, have shrunk.
In recent years, that's resulted in significant budget shortfalls at Keene State, a key institution in New Hampshire's public university system and an important economic anchor for the Monadnock region.
In response, Interim College President Melinda Treadwell has overseen a roughly ten percent reduction in the college's employee base through voluntary buyouts. In February, she announced that this effort, combined with cost cutting in other areas, had put the school on track to balance its budget and remain on solid financial footing.
"The new administration has made a real concerted effort about right-sizing Keene State." said Peggy Richmond, the school's admissions director. "This is the right size for Keene State.”
Though total applications fell this year, the school saw an increase in the percentage of admitted students who chose to enroll. That reflects a strong effort over the past several months to engage with prospective students, Richmond said, and is an optimistic sign for the college.