Carlow University 2023 Enrollment Is Highest in over a Decade

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University Bucks PA Trends with Second Highest Enrollment in the Past 25 Years
Carlow Has Highest Number of New Registered Students This Century

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Defying demographic trends that show declining numbers of high school seniors in the state of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States, Carlow University’s 2023 registered students is its highest in more than a decade and its second highest in the past 25 years.

“At Carlow University, our commitment to our region’s needs is unwavering. With the introduction of 11 new programs in high-demand fields such as healthcare, health sciences, business, and the humanities, we are paving the way for fulfilling careers,” shared Kathy Humphrey, PhD, President of the university. “Our proactive strides in aligning our curriculum with the requirements of 21st-century students underscore our dedication. Moreover, our Admission Department’s exceptional outreach efforts ensure that prospective students, employers, and families are fully aware of the myriad opportunities Carlow has to offer.”

While the entire nation is facing what has been termed a “demographic cliff,” or a drop in the number of high school students beginning in 2025, Pennsylvania is among the hardest hit states because of greater population decline than all but four other states, according to recent U.S. Census data. Between 2012 and 2022, enrollment at Pennsylvania schools declined by more than 69,000 students, which is almost 19 percent, while nationwide the drop over the same time period was 11 percent. 

Carlow University achieved 5.7 percent enrollment growth in the Fall of 2022 and has nearly doubled that for the Fall of 2023 with an increase of 9 percent. In addition, in the fall of 2021, enrollment was 1,985 and has grown to 2,312 doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students this fall. This is the second highest number of enrolled students at Carlow.  The number of new registered students this fall is 795, surpassing the previous high of 739 from 2009. 

“Carlow University is preparing for the demographic cliff by expanding its online program portfolio to reach students beyond this region and by building on the university’s strengths in healthcare, education, humanities and the arts,” said Mollie Cecere, Carlow’s vice president of enrollment management and corporate partnerships.

The university has launched four new graduate programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and speech-language pathology. It has also launched undergraduate programs in public health, neurodiagnostic, practical nursing, and surgical technology. It’s not just programs in the health sciences either.  Carlow has added an E-Sports business program, an early childhood apprenticeship program for childcare providers that can lead to a bachelor’s degree, and certificate programs in project management, quality assurance and quality control.

“Carlow’s enrollment success in the face of national and statewide declines is a testament to the hard work of our team, and our commitment to innovation,” emphasized Dr. Humphrey. “Amidst all this transformative change, our core mission remains steadfast. The Sisters of Mercy established this university with a profound commitment to education and regional service. Today, we carry that legacy forward by unwaveringly dedicating ourselves to the future of our students and the well-being of our region as a whole.”


About Carlow University

Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929, Carlow’s curricula and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. 

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