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Oregon University System enrollment reaches 100,000 student milestone

Contact: Di Saunders: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869; diane_saunders@ous.edu

Source: Bob Kieran, OUS assistant vice chancellor, research: 541-346-5758; bob_kieran@ous.edu

Click here to view the Enrollment Fact Sheet for Fall 2011

PORTLAND, November 10, 2011 – The Oregon University System (OUS) announced today that a record high enrollment of 100,316 students was reached for fall 2011, up from 96,960 students last year, an increase of 3.5%. While a lower percentage increase than the 5.9% seen in fall 2010, students from within Oregon and outside the state are continuing to attend OUS campuses in record numbers, and stay in school and earn degrees in greater numbers than ever before. The percentage of freshmen continuing on to their sophomore year – the retention rate – remains at the all time high of 82%. This is a 5-year enrollment increase of 23.8%, and is the largest five-year growth in forty years for OUS.

OUS chancellor George Pernsteiner said, “Reaching the 100,000 student mark is important because it means that we are progressing towards the state’s 40-40-20 educational attainment goal. But even more important than enrollment are the increasing numbers of students who we have been able to keep at our institutions to graduation, and the growing numbers of high quality degrees that our students are earning. Access is one aspect, but without retention and graduation, student success is not a reality.”

Oregon’s 40-40-20 goal, recently codified in law through the passage of Senate Bill 253, targets achievement levels in the state of 40% of Oregonians with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 40% with an associate’s degree or post-high school certificate, and 20% with a high school diploma and ready for work. Ten year enrollment growth for OUS continues to outpace national averages, increasing more than 26,000 students since 2001.

Undergraduate enrollment increased 4.7% for the OUS in fall 2011 to 84,126 students, fueled primarily by strong growth in incoming transfer students from community colleges, and reflecting joint OUS/community college programs which encourage dual-enrollment and ease of transfer. The number of newly admitted freshmen (does not include transfer students) decreased slightly by 271 students to 11,507 for fall 2011. While Doctoral enrollment increased by 4.7%, Master’s enrollment decreased by 4.1%, with overall graduate enrollment decreasing slightly by 389 students or 2.3%. Nonresident students, including out-of-state and international students, increased 8.3%, with resident student enrollment increasing by 1.6%.

“This fall, more than 100,000 students are enrolled in Oregon’s public universities – enriching their lives through higher education and pursuing degrees that will allow them to contribute to our communities and our economy in the future,” Governor John Kitzhaber said. “This is a major milestone. Also worthy of celebration: our public universities are opening their doors to more students of color – particularly Oregon’s growing Latino population – and helping more students persist through to graduation. We have far to go, but these are encouraging signs.”

Student diversity on the OUS campuses is growing, now at 22% and up from 20.3% last year, reflecting demographic changes in Oregon, and campus efforts to have student bodies reflect the state’s population makeup. Hispanic/Latino enrollment growth for fall 2011 is up 20.8%; American Indian/Alaska Native growth rose 7.1%; African American student enrollment is up 2.2%; and Asian/Pacific Islander enrollment growth increased slightly by 1.1%. Caucasian student growth is up 2.7% in fall 2011 compared to a year ago.

“If Oregon is to reach 40-40-20 goals, we must do a better job of educating those students who represent Oregon’s future and will be making up our workforce in the coming years,” said Pernsteiner. “Most of Oregon’s population growth currently and in the coming years to an even greater extent, will be among communities of color. As a state we have not succeeded in ensuring equity across all populations, whether students of color, rural students, or students in poverty. Setting our sights on the 40-40-20 goal will help us change this trajectory and ensure that Oregon’s economy is supported by a highly educated and skilled population that guarantees job growth and encourages more companies to decide that Oregon is a great place to do business.”

International student enrollment is up significantly by 12.2% over last year to an all-time high of 6,387 students, with undergraduate students making up most of this growth, and with a large number of students from China increasing the growth rate.

The ultimate outcome of increased enrollment over time is increased number of degrees attained by OUS students. For the Class of 2011, bachelor’s, graduate and professional degrees increased by 3.8% to 18,606, up from 17,920 for the Class of 2010. Over the last ten years, degrees have increased 40% from the 13,288 degrees seen with the Class of 2001. Oregon’s education system is moving its focus more toward outcomes (degrees) as a way to measure success and provide performance-based funding.

Total OUS Fall Headcount and FTE Enrollment, 2011 Compared to 2010 (Fall 4th week)

 

Fall 2011

Fall 2010

Headcount Change ’10 to ‘11

FTE Change ’10 to ‘11

 

Headcount

FTE

Headcount

FTE

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Eastern Oregon University

4,298

2,906

4,137

2,838

161

3.9%

68

2.4

Oregon Institute of Technology

3,911

2,624

3,797

2,576

114

3.0%

47

1.8

Oregon State University – Corvallis

24,977

22,597

23,761

21,584

1,216

5.1%

1,013

4.7

Oregon State University – Cascades

764

469

678

410

86

12.7%

59

14.5

Portland State University

28,958

20,459

28,522

20,476

436

1.5%

-17

-0.1

Southern Oregon University

6,744

4,678

6,443

4,524

301

4.7%

154

3.4

University of Oregon

24,447

23,450

23,389

22,631

1,058

4.5%

819

3.6

Western Oregon University

6,217

5,127

6,233

5,049

-16

-0.3%

77

1.5

Total

100,316

82,309

96,960

80,090

3,356

3.5%

2,220

2.8

Source:  OUS Institutional Research Services, Report ERTE-01 and ERCH-01, 11/03/2011.              NOTE: FTE totals may not add due to rounding.

 

 

 

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, 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