OSU enrollment up 4.5 percent to 16,777 students


CORVALLIS - Bolstered by an increase in minority students, international students and graduate students, Oregon State University has an official fall term enrollment of 16,777 students, an increase of 4.5 percent over last year.

The increase continues a strong upward trend in enrollment that has brought nearly 3,000 additional students to the university in the last four years. In 1996, OSU had an enrollment of only 13,784 students, a 30-year low.

Since OSU President Paul Risser arrived on campus, the university has instituted strong recruitment and retention programs, boosted student scholarships, developed a comprehensive marketing program, and made student success a campus-wide initiative. Those efforts have paid off.

The university's enrollment climbed to 14,127 in 1997; 14,618 in 1998; 16,061 last year, and is nearing 17,000 for the first time in two decades. In four years, OSU's enrollment has risen 22 percent. "High achieving students continue to show interest in coming to Oregon State University and, in fact, the average grade point of entering freshmen rose from 3.40 to 3.46," said Tim White, OSU provost and executive vice president. "The University Honors College, in particular, attracts many of Oregon's best and brightest students."

Among other trends in the OSU enrollment picture:

  • After a downward trend sparked by a decline in the Asian economy, international student enrollment at Oregon State has risen 9.5 percent since last year to 1,227 students.


  • Minority student enrollment rose 5.6 percent at OSU this year. The University Honors College, a strong attraction for top students, has a minority enrollment of 22 percent.


  • OSU's undergraduate enrollment increased 3.6 percent, while the number of graduate students jumped 5.8 percent.


  • The university is enrolling more students this year from Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho and Washington (ranging from 2.3 percent to 7.7 percent increases), while experiencing a decrease in California students of 10.3 percent.

"Overall, we are very pleased with our enrollment picture," White said. "We are showing a healthy gain in international students, graduate students and minority students, which have been areas of focus for the university. We have been able to accommodate our growth with strategic investments targeted at additional course sections and other resources to support student success."