CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s overall 2015 fall term enrollment grew 2.4 percent over last year, with stable enrollment on the Corvallis campus and continued growth in online learning through OSU’s nationally ranked Ecampus distance degree program.
Oregon State’s overall enrollment is 30,592 students, making OSU the largest university in the state of Oregon for the second year in a row.
OSU officials say there are 24,466 students at the university’s main campus in Corvallis, an increase of 3/10ths of one percent, or 83 students, from fall 2014. Oregon State has enrolled 5,110 students in Ecampus this term, an increase of 607 students or 13.5 percent over last year. At OSU-Cascades, where this fall Oregon State offers four-year academic classes for the first time, 1,016 students are enrolled – a 3.7 percent increase over last year.
“This is right in line with Oregon State’s strategic plan to serve as Oregon’s university, as well as with our enrollment management plan,” said OSU President Edward J. Ray. “Three out of four degree-seeking undergraduate students on our Corvallis campus are Oregon residents, and we continue to attract high-achieving students. Among first-time college students from Oregon high schools, 41.6 percent are considered high-achievers (with a grade point of 3.75 or higher).”
Ray said he was particularly pleased in the continued growth in enrollment of U.S. minority students, an increase of 6.9 percent from 6,320 students in 2014 to 6,754 this fall.
The university also enrolled 5,803 undergraduates who are first-generation students – an increase of 4.5 percent over 2014. “As a first-generation college student myself, that trend is near-and-dear to my heart,” Ray said. “Nearly one out of four of our undergraduates (23.6 percent) is a first-generation student.”
“Oregon State’s mission is to bring higher education to all people within Oregon and we are doing just that by increasingly enrolling people of diversity, students from low-income families, and first-generation students,” Ray said. “Expanded access to an excellent higher education and college degree is essential for all Oregonians, as well as the future of our state and the nation.”
International student enrollment at Oregon State also grew this fall, but by a slower rate than in the past. OSU enrolled 3,328 international students this fall – up 3.9 percent over 2014. The international student enrollment had grown by 21 percent in 2013 and by 12 percent in 2014 and now represents 11.3 percent of Oregon State’s overall enrollment.
Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for University Relations and Marketing, said OSU’s strategic enrollment growth is sustainable. While demographic patterns in Oregon suggest that the number of high school graduates will remain relatively flat for the foreseeable future, Clark said Oregon State is poised to continue attracting Oregonians, but also a mix of out-of-state and international students, and non-traditionally aged students (25 and over).
“OSU will remain focused on being Oregon’s statewide university,” Clark said. “It takes a balancing act to meet the needs of the state; manage growth in a strategic way; serve as a great community partner where our campuses are located; and operate the university in a financially sustainable way.”
“As promised, we have slowed the growth on our Corvallis campus, but while doing so, we are taking higher education to where students are by continuing to enroll more distance online students through Ecampus, by expanding OSU-Cascades to a four-year campus in Bend; and by opening a marine studies campus in Newport over the next few years.”
More students are studying engineering than any other discipline at OSU – the College of Engineering has a total of 8,265 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled this fall. The next largest programs are the College of Liberal Arts, 3,905 students; the College of Science, 3,526; the College of Business, 3,487; the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, 3,200; and the College of Agricultural Sciences, 2,610.
Enrollment in other colleges and programs includes: University Exploratory Studies, 1,106; College of Forestry, 1,024; Graduate School, 797; College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, 725; College of Pharmacy, 384; College of Education, 317; and College of Veterinary Medicine, 230.
The most popular major at OSU is computer science, followed by business administration, mechanical engineering, kinesiology, and human development and family sciences.