The University of Hawaii's enrollment for fall 2013 is slightly down, following five years of record-breaking numbers.
Opening enrollment for the fall semester is 59,288, a slight decline of 1,345 students, or 2.2 percent, compared with fall 2012, the university said.
Since 2007, UH enrollment has grown by 17 percent.
The UH System’s newest campus, UH West Oahu, saw its enrollment significantly increase to 2,403 students, the largest numerical and percentage gain with 380 students for an 18.8 percent increase.
Windward Community College reported a 2.2 percent increase with 62 students for a total enrollment of 2,840.
Kauai Community College also posted a gain of 1.3 percent with 19 students for a total enrollment of 1,531.
However, UH Manoa’s enrollment slightly declined by 2 percent or 408 students for a total enrollment of 19,912.
UH Hilo posted a 3.3 percent drop of 138 students for a total enrollment of 4,034.
The dip in enrollment follows recent national trends. The U.S. Census Bureau released statistics this month that show college enrollment in fall 2012 plunged by half a million, or 476,000, across the country compared to fall 2011.
The Census Bureau said the decline follows a period of substantial growth – 3.2 million – between 2006 and 2011.
The decline in college enrollment was driven by students 25 years and older, according to the Census Bureau.
“Enrollment in higher education typically runs counter to economic growth. Students often leave college when the economy provides more jobs. This is particularly true of the community college students,” said Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Linda Johnsrud.
Overall, UH Community Colleges saw a 3.5 percent decrease in enrollment with 1,179 students for a total enrollment of 32,939.