According to the Ontario Universities Application Centre, the number of high school students who have confirmed they plan to attend Laurentian University this fall is down more than 30 per cent over a year ago.
This in the wake of Laurentian University declaring it is insolvent this winter, filing for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) and making massive cuts to staff and programs.
Confirmation statistics put together by OUAC show there are 631 students exiting high school who have accepted Laurentian’s offer as of early this month to attend an undergraduate program full-time at the university this fall.
However, a year ago, those same statistics were at 908 students, meaning there’s a 30.5-per-cent drop.
This statistic has even dropped below where it was 20 years ago, the earliest statistics provided by OUAC. In June 2001, the number of confirmations at Laurentian at this time of year was 691.
The same statistic was at 1,056 in June 2019 (pre-pandemic).
At the June 15 Laurentian Senate meeting, university president Robert Haché said it’s impossible to make an accurate prediction on fall enrolment at this point.
But “it does look like we have a realistic chance of meeting our budgetary expectations on enrolment at the very least,” he said.
Haché said enrolment is going to be crucial to Laurentian’s future. He said that given the uncertainty of the CCAA process, LU has been expecting impacts on its fall enrolments.
“It would not have been realistic to expect otherwise,” he said, adding that Laurentian is doing “everything possible” to reach out to students who have expressed an interest in LU, and bringing them onto campus in the fall.
Haché said registration has yet to open, but did say confirmations are down over last year (as seen in the statistics above). He did point out it’s equal between English and French-language programs.
“Which I think is taken as a further reinforcement that Francophone students are still looking to Laurentian for their future,” he said.
Laurentian University Staff Union (LUSU) president Tom Fenske revealed to Sudbury.com last week the university had planned for a 30-per-cent student loss as a worst-case scenario.