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Oregon University System enrollment grows significantly for second consecutive year to over 91,500 students

Contact Di Saunders, Cell: 971-219-6869; Office: 503-725-5714
Source: Bob Kieran, OUS Asst. Vice Chancellor, Institutional Research and Planning: 541-346-5758

View the fact sheet on 2009 enrollment.

PORTLAND, November 10, 2009 –Oregon University System (OUS) chancellor, George Pernsteiner, announced today that a record high enrollment of 91,580 students was reached for fall 2009, an increase of 5.8% over last year. This is the highest percentage increase for the System since 2001, with an additional 5,034 students at Oregon’s public universities this fall. The entering class of 30,938 new undergraduate and graduate students represents the largest incoming class in OUS history, and marks record high enrollment for six out of the seven campuses and the branch campus in Bend.

“These significant enrollment increases show the great demand in Oregon for higher education as students of all ages seek the skills and experiences they need to be successful in the workplace and in life,” said Pernsteiner. “We’re very pleased to see the strong increases in transfer students entering our universities, a result of concerted campus efforts to make transitioning from a 2- to a 4-year institution seamless for students.” Pernsteiner added, “Despite the budget cuts taken by our public universities, the campuses have kept their priorities in the right place, which is on student instruction and support. This is also apparent in the significant increase in retention we have seen over the last year, a testament to the depth and reach of campus support programs that help students stay in college and complete a degree. We now must work to provide the campuses with the support they need to educate these students effectively.”

Systemwide, total enrollment for fall 2009 includes 75,443 undergraduates – an increase of 6.2% or 4,421 more undergraduates than last year – and 16,137 graduate students – an increase of 3.9% or 613 more graduates students than seen in 2008. Even higher increases were seen this fall in Full Time Equivalent (FTE) student enrollment, which increased 6.4% or by 4,536 students. Increases in FTE show that students are carrying higher class loads. Across the System, the number of newly admitted undergraduates overall – both resident and nonresident – increased by 5.3%, although the number of resident first time freshmen actually declined by 0.8% due to several factors, including the difficult economic environment facing students and families. Newly admitted undergraduate transfer students in fall 2009 increased 11.2% over 2008, a reflection of the progress made in ease of transferability and curricular coordination among 2- and 4-year colleges and universities in Oregon. Enrollment of newly admitted resident undergraduates (also includes transfer students but excludes those pursuing a second undergraduate degree) totaled 14,185 for fall 2009, an increase of 610 students or 4.5% over fall 2008.

“I am pleased to welcome our largest class of college students in Oregon history,” said Governor Kulongoski. “Their participation in our universities will build a stronger Oregon in the years ahead. This is also a reminder that we as a state have much more to do to keep college affordable, to help these students succeed and support our colleges and universities to meet the demands of a changing economy.”

Students of color increased within the OUS in fall 2009 by 7.0% to a total of 13,755 students: African-American students increased by 7.5%; American Indian/Alaska Native students increased by 9.6% in 2009; Hispanic/Latino students increased by 7.8%; and Asian/Pacific Islander students increased by 5.7% in 2009. White students increased by 4.2%, about the same as 2008. International students increased by 8.4% in fall 2009 over last year, an all time high, reaching a total of 4,781 students across the System.

“Enrollment increases exceeded all expectations this year,” said Bob Kieran, assistant vice chancellor for Institutional Research and Planning for OUS. “This verifies the success of campus efforts to provide access to a larger, more diverse number of Oregonians, and acknowledges the public’s recognition that higher education is the key to career flexibility and economic gains.” Long-term enrollment trends show a 5-year increase of 14.4% for OUS, and a 10-year increase of 36%. “Ten year enrollment increases for OUS have trended higher than the national average for 4-year public universities by nearly 160%,” said Kieran. “We have almost added the equivalent of another Portland State University in those ten years -- the state’s largest university -- increasing by over 24,000 students.”

Fall 2009 represents all-time highs in overall enrollment for all campuses except Southern Oregon University, although SOU saw significant increases in students from California enrolling this fall. Oregon State University Cascades campus in Bend saw the largest percentage increase in headcount enrollment of any campus at 19.8% over last year, with OSU in Corvallis having the largest numerical increase of 1,649 students more than in fall 2008. Eastern Oregon University had the largest percentage increase in newly admitted resident freshmen, up 25.5% this fall over last year. University of Oregon continued their increase in international students with 216 more this fall than last with nearly twice as many students from China as from the Republic of Korea, the second largest source.

Total OUS Fall Headcount and FTE Enrollment, 2009 Compared to 2008
(Fall 4th week)
  Fall 2009 Fall 2008 Headcount
FTE Change
  Headcount FTE Headcount FTE Number Percent Number Percent
Eastern Oregon University 3,957 2,647 3,666 2,389 291 7.9 258 10.8
Oregon Institute of Technology 3,927 2,588 3,525 2,381 402 11.4 207 8.7
Oregon State University – Corvallis 21,969 19,951 20,320 18,487 1,649 8.1 1,463 7.9
Oregon State University – Cascades 611 354 510 280 101 19.8 74 26.3
Portland State University 27,972 19,996 26,587 18,753 1,385 5.2 1,243 6.6
Southern Oregon University 5,104 3,930 5,082 3,851 22 0.4 80 2.1
University of Oregon 22,386 21,689 21,507 20,762 879 4.1 927 4.5
Western Oregon University 5,654 4,697 5,349 4,412 305 5.7 285 6.5
Total 91,580 75,851 86,546 71,315 5,034 5.8 4,536 6.4

Source:  OUS Institutional Research Services, Report ERTE-01 and ERCH-01, 11/09

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For more information go to: www.ous.edu

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