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NEW ORLEANS (AP) Officials at Loyola University in New Orleans are trying to determine whether a move to reduce student aid led to an unexpected drop in freshman enrollment for the coming fall semester.

First-year enrollment had grown since Hurricane Katrina; the university's goal was 875 first-year students for this fall.

Now, officials at the Jesuit university, where total enrollment was 5,082 this past year, say first-year students will likely total 655 or less.

Roberta Kaskel, interim vice president for enrollment management, says one factor may be the university's attempt to lower its 'discount rate' the percentage of tuition revenue reduced by granting of financial aid. Kaskel said the rate for first-year students reached nearly 58 percent last year. This year, it had dropped to just over 55 percent.

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