Just Three State Institutions Increase Enrollment
“This is a tribute to our recruiting, advising, and student support staff, and we are very happy with the increased enrollment.”
Student Enrollment Dips Slightly for Utah Public Colleges and Universities A few institutions see increases
SALT LAKE CITY- The Utah System of Higher Education announced Tuesday that its enrollment numbers for fall 2006 were down slightly from last year. According to the third week enrollment numbers for fall semester, budget-related headcount decreased 1.1 percent, while budget-related full-time equivalent (FTE) students decreased by 1.04 percent. Budget-related headcount includes all students enrolled in a course at an institution, whereas FTE approximates the number of students enrolled full-time (15 semester hours for undergraduate students and 10 semester hours for graduate students) per semester. In addition to the budget-related numbers, the system serves several thousand students in non-traditional programs.
A few institutions saw increases in their enrollment. Southern Utah University, Snow College and Utah Valley State College saw increases in both headcount and FTEs. Weber State University saw a 1.96 percent increase in headcount of 333 students, but a 1.06 percent decrease in FTEs of 126.
Dixie State College experienced the largest drop of more than 1,000 headcount students (16.04 percent) and 340 FTEs (8.06 percent), followed by Salt Lake Community College with a headcount decrease of 745 students (3.03 percent) and 249 FTEs (1.79 percent). (See attached charts for details.)
"Although we're experiencing a small decline in the number of students enrolling in college, it is concerning when you think of the potential impact it will have on the lives of individuals," said Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Kendell. "Postsecondary education provides workforce training and increased income potential for students * it produces self-sustaining adults who in turn can support a family."
Kendell has asked college and university presidents to respond by setting a goal to increase participation system-wide by 0.5 percent annually. This translates to 12,000 additional full-time students in five years and 21,000 additional full-time students in 10 years.
"We are saying to young people, 'There is no better or easier time to go to college than when you're 18 or 20 years old,'" said Kendell. "Going to school gets more difficult as life gets more complicated. That shouldn't, however, deter people from going back to college at any time to improve their knowledge and workforce training."
Overall, the number of men and women attending college is down. Males are down 1.8 percent or 1,164 students and females are down 0.6 percent or 367 students.
The Utah System of Higher Education includes nine of its 10 public colleges and universities in its enrollment summary: The University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, Southern Utah University, Snow College, Dixie State College, College of Eastern Utah, Utah Valley State College and Salt Lake Community College. Numbers for the Utah College of Applied Technology are not included.