Hartwick's Yager Hall in spring

Hartwick College Reports Increased Enrollment and Retention Despite Pandemic

October 9, 2020

Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich announced today strong fall 2020 enrollment and retention figures that topped Fall 2019 levels, in spite of the significant challenges facing higher education nationwide from the Coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes as the College finalizes its annual census.

Hartwick College enrollment increased compared to this time last year, 1,185 versus 1,169 students, with the number of First-Year Students increasing more than 3%.

Several factors contributed to the increase, including holding a virtual edition of its annual Accepted Student Day, moving forward with the tradition as scheduled, unlike many peer institutions. The event helped solidify the choice for those who have committed, or tips the scales in favor of committing to the College. This year, it held added symbolism, showing potential students that Hartwick could still provide the personal experience they were looking for, just tailored to the new realities of a COVID-19 world.

“Especially in this time of uncertainty, it is reassuring to know that students continue to look toward the future and appreciate the importance that education will play in their lives,” said Drugovich. “Our campus community works together, every day, to make evident the value of a Hartwick experience. We are here to support students as they lean into their dreams, and it is clear from our fall enrollment that our new and returning students understand that this is what actually happens at Hartwick.”

Retention rates also rose at the College this fall. The College’s approach to the health and safety of the campus community in the face of the virus was a key factor. A “Hartwick Cares” e-mail campaign provided constant communication with students and families throughout the spring and summer.

Awareness and confidence in the College’s efforts was already high when a controlled move-in process was instituted for students coming to campus in August. That is reflected by the Junior class (2018 cohort) returning in particularly high numbers over the previous year.

Programmatically, the newest census figures also show this year the number of students enrolled in the Three-Year Degree (3YD) program rose, and all 3YD program enrollees from the 2019 cohort returned. The number of part-time degree seekers increased, and enrollment in the College’s graduate-level Translational Biomedical Research Management program similarly grew over this period last year.