ST. CLOUD -- Fall semester enrollment is down at two St. Cloud higher education institutions.

Both St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical and Community College saw a decrease in enrollment for fall semester.

St. Cloud State has been battling lower enrollment numbers over the past few years. This year's total headcount is sitting at 15,092, which is down about 3.2 percent from last year's enrollment.

Interim Provost Dan Gregory says even though enrollment is down from last year, it's actually higher than what they were expecting.

"We were projecting in the spring to be down farther than what we are, so we're actually landing ahead of what we had projected last spring."

Gregory says having a better enrollment turnout than expected shows the commitment of faculty and staff on campus to really push toward increasing enrollment. It also is better for the university's budget.

"Because we were projecting to be down farther it looks like our university budget is in stable territory, it looks good."

Students of color enrollment are slightly up from last year with nearly 18 percent of all enrolled being students of color. Also, international student enrollment is higher than the previous year with just under 1,500 total international students.

Gregory says to boost enrollment for next fall the university is in the process of launching a new marketing campaign.

"It's going to help us tell our story, talk about the good work that's happening across the university, highlighting our portfolio, very high-quality programs and accreditations. Also, it will talk about the faculty and staff we have here that are fully focused on students and helping them be successful."

SCSU has seen a decrease in overall enrollment since fall 2015.

St. Cloud Technical and Community College has seen about 4.8 percent decrease in enrollment from last year to this year. Jodi Elness is the Director of Enrollment Management at SCTCC. She says although they've seen a slight decrease in enrollment, the students that are enrolled are taking more classes.

"What we did discover in terms of FYE (full year equivalent) it's [lower enrollment] not as significant. What we've discovered is although we have fewer students, they are taking more credits."

The full year equivalent number is what the school uses to standardize its enrollment numbers. Meaning, two half-time students equal one full year equivalent. If enrollment is down, it can show the average amount of credits students are taking could be up.

St. Cloud Technical and Community College's total enrollment from this fall is at 4,190. Last year the institution had a total of 4,402 students enrolled.

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