OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU enrollment growth paces Oregon University System record

11/08/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s fall term enrollment – fueled by major increases in minority students from the United States and international students – grew by 4 percent on the main Corvallis campus (from 22,335 to 23,218 students) from fall term of 2011.

A robust online enrollment pushed the university’s overall growth to a record total of 26,393 students, a 5.7 percent increase over OSU’s overall enrollment last year.

OSU continued to experience modest growth in the number of students from Oregon, reaffirming President Ed Ray’s commitment to the university’s Land Grant mission of access.

Some of the growth in OSU’s enrollment can be attributed to its ECampus program, which enrolled a record 3,175 students from around the state and beyond who only took courses from the university online. ECampus has been ranked among the top 10 online programs in the country.

“Our enrollment growth is a reflection of interest in the university’s academic programs, our success in recruiting high-achieving students, and our efforts to increase minority and international enrollments,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU’s provost and executive vice president. “We are managing our growth in alignment with our strategic goals and with our commitments to the Oregon University System to contribute to the educational goals outlined in the 40/40/20 aspiration for the state.”

OSU’s enrollment total does not include that of the state’s first branch campus, OSU-Cascades in Bend, which has an additional 801 students – an increase of 4.8 percent over last year. The growth rates of OSU and OSU-Cascades were the highest in the Oregon University System, which posted an overall record.

Some of the highlights of the university’s enrollment:

  • The number of U.S. minorities increased 10.7 percent over 2011 to a total of 5,224 students. U.S. minority students now comprise 19.8 percent of the university’s enrollment.
  • OSU’s international student enrollment increased 27.5 percent over last year, a reflection in part of the successful collaboration with INTO University Partnerships. OSU’s international student enrollment this term is 2,362, which is 8.9 percent of the overall enrollment.
  • The number of Oregon resident students increased from 17,360 to 17,487.
  • OSU continues to attract high-achieving students, and the mean grade point average of entering freshmen this fall was 3.56. More than 40 percent of incoming freshmen from Oregon high schools had a GPA of 3.75 or higher.

“We also continue to attract more high school valedictorians and salutatorians than any other institution in the state,” pointed out Kate Peterson, OSU’s associate provost for enrollment management. “The university also has made major efforts to retain students and we’re beginning to see some of the results.”

Peterson said the number of new students on campus grew by 241 students over 2011 while the number of continuing students jumped by 1,191 over last year.

University officials note that OSU has hired more than 100 new faculty members over the past two years – from throughout the United States and beyond – to help accommodate the enrollment growth.

Students enrolled this fall at OSU come from every county in Oregon, from every state in the United States, and from 98 other countries. The university saw enrollment growth that was roughly the same among undergraduate and graduate students, totaling 5.7 percent.

The largest student enrollment by discipline belongs to the College of Engineering, which has 5,907 students this fall. Next in order were the College of Liberal Arts, 3,680 students; College of Science, 3,406; College of Business, 3,302; College of Public Health and Human Sciences, 3,267; and College of Agricultural Sciences, 2,284.

OSU’s minority enrollment has more than doubled in the last decade, from 2,591 students in 2003 to 5,224 this fall. Likewise, Oregon State’s international student enrollment has increased from 1,061 students in 2003 to 2,362 students this fall.