Sheldon Jackson enrollment down, but beats expectations

Posted: Monday, October 16, 2000

SITKA (AP) -- Fall enrollment is down at Sheldon Jackson College, but administrators say it still exceeded expectations.

Sheldon Jackson Registrar Bill Painter said 185 students are enrolled this year. That compares with about 235 a year ago.

That's a pretty good total when the school's near closure last year is factored in, Painter said.

''Nobody wants to go to a school that might shut down,'' he told the Daily (Sitka) Sentinel.

Alaska's oldest college is on its way to recovery and the enrollment numbers reflect that, Painter said. The students come from 32 states and one foreign nation.

''That's an amazing diversity for such a small campus,'' he said.

This year's enrollment is about the same as 1997, although the numbers are down from 1998 and 1999, he said.

Sheldon Jackson was founded 124 years ago by Presbyterian missionaries as a trade school for Tlingit boys.

Sheldon Jackson trustees wrestled with a decision about whether to close the school last year in the face of financial problems.

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