Historically low enrollment at Henderson


Courtesy of Henderson State

Students of Henderson walking across campus.

Four-hundred and twenty eight less students have enrolled for Fall at Henderson State since 2017. In 2019 the enrollment increased from 3,958 to 4,054, yet decreased in the Fall of 2020 to 3,168. It dropped again this fall to 2,914.

Like many universities, this may be due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, or the fact that the “scholarship model could have been better.” Dr. Brad Patterson, Vice Chancellor of student affairs and student success spoke briefly about his concerns and excitement for the future of Henderson’s enrollment. The University has started with becoming a test optional campus. This means incoming student’s scholarships can be based on ACT scores or highschool GPA.

“Every student will get a scholarship.” said Patterson.This will help reach a broader array of students. Dr. Patterson understands test taking and coming from lower income families may make it difficult for students to attend university.

Dr. Patterson explained Henderson wants students who work hard and the best way to see that is through their GPA not a single standardized test score. While those scores are still important, it will not be the determining factor. He mentioned some students have difficulty taking standardized tests, but are good students who work. Their GPA may be high, but their ACT score may be low. “They already have so much going on, and this could help.” The hope of being test optional is to take the anxiety out of it for the students.

He encouraged students to take advantage of the new model and expressed his gratitude for the advising team, “They are doing a fantastic job, we have only seen positive responses.” The university has over 400 applicants and 200 already admitted for the Fall of 2022.