May 8, 2000 

Contact: Bob Bruce, Oregon University System, 503-725-5714
Source: Susan Weeks, chief information officer, Oregon University System, 541-346-5743

Enrollment Forecast: Headed to Record Highs

EUGENE -- Oregon's seven public universities appear headed for a record total enrollment next fall.

The Oregon University System is forecasting a 3.5 percent increase in student numbers for fall 2000, pushing total regular campus enrollment to an all-time record of 64,600. That mark would eclipse the previous high set in fall 1980 when 64,087 students were enrolled. 

An additional 7,000 more students are expected to enroll fall term 2000 through continuing education.

The new projection also forecasts a record-tying freshman participation rate by Oregon high school graduates.
Some 300 more new Oregon freshmen are expected to enroll on OUS campuses next fall. And that number is projected to increase by an additional 200 in fall 2001. If fulfilled, the projection would mean a 23 percent rate of participation, the highest for Oregon's public universities since 1987-88 when that same proportion of the state's previous year high school grads matriculated at OUS universities. 

"It's possible we're even a bit conservative," says Susan Weeks, OUS chief information officer. 

Improved retention, stable tuition and more aggressive recruiting are responsible for the higher fall forecast. 

According to OUS officials, retention rates on all campuses are continuing to improve, particularly from the freshman to sophomore year. 

Officials are projecting continuing enrollment increases for Oregon's public universities through 2010.

OUS campuses include Eastern Oregon University, La Grande; Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls; Oregon State University, Corvallis; Portland State University; Southern Oregon University, Ashland; the University of Oregon, Eugene; and Western Oregon University, Monmouth.

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