Idaho Universities Report Enrollment Increase


Students walk across campus between classes at Idaho State University. (Photo courtesy of Idaho State University.)

Idaho’s three universities have all reported an increase in enrollment for the fall – growth that almost wipes out their losses from the pandemic as of 2020.

Four-year schools submitted their fall issues to the State Board of Education this week.

The rebound comes at a pivotal time for higher education in Idaho. From fall 2019 to spring 2021, the state’s four- and two-year colleges lost more than 5,000 students. That translated into an 8.7% drop – and it’s impacting young adults but also colleges and universities. As higher education receives a decreasing share of the state budget, colleges and universities depend on tuition and fees to cover an increasing share of their costs.

Here are thumbnails of four-year schools in Idaho.

Boise State University

Fall registrations were 25,829, an increase of 7.2%.

By comparison, registrations in the fall fell 8.3% from a year ago.

President Marlene Tromp praised the rebound. “Boise State has always found new ways to reach students, meet the needs of industry and have a positive impact on our state, often in ways that serve as a national model,” she said. in a press release late Wednesday afternoon.

Here is what happened this year in several areas:

First year students: 3,203, an increase of 11.6%.

Graduate registration: 3,068, an increase of 3.8% and a university record.

Mode of instruction: In total, 83.6% of undergraduates and 48.8% of graduate students take at least one course in person.

A year ago, these figures were 71% and 40% respectively.

Out-of-state registration: Unavailable. A year ago, officials in Boise state said a spike in out-of-state enrollment helped offset a drop in enrollment in the state.

Double credit registration: Also unavailable.

In 2020, Boise State attributed much of its overall drop in listings to a drop in double credit. It wasn’t unique to Boise State. As high school students struggled with the uncertainties of the pandemic – and often a mixture of in-person and online education – many of them decided not to take college courses.

University of Idaho

Global workforce: 11,303, an increase of 4.7% compared to the previous year.

In 2020, the U of I had absorbed a drop in enrollment in the fall of 9.5%.

“We are energized by the increase in registrations, especially given the challenges of the pandemic,” President Scott Green said in a press release.

A closer look at the numbers U of I:

First year students: The U of I attracted its largest freshman cohort in five years: 1,656 students in total.

That’s a 16.2% increase from last year, but it’s largely due to out-of-state listings. First-year enrollments in the state rose 5.2%.

Undergraduate enrollment outside of state: 465, up 10.6%. “Our current student mix is ​​changing rapidly,” said Dean Kahler, vice-president, strategic enrollment management. “Our marketing and pricing resonate with the out-of-state market.”

Graduate registration: 1,947, up 8.2%.

Hispanic Inscription: Up 8.5%, mostly back to pre-pandemic levels.

Double credit registration: 1,641, up 19.9%.

Returning students: The retention of first year students decreased by 2.2%.

Idaho State University

The total number of registrations amounted to 12,157.

This is a 3.2% increase, erasing much of a 5% drop from a year ago.

More metrics:

First year students: Up 10.7%, contributing to the first year-over-year increase in undergraduate enrollment in the state of Idaho in nearly a decade.

“We’re coming to a crossroads after years of declining enrollment,” President Kevin Satterlee said in a press release. “It shows the impact and importance of the retention and recruiting efforts that we have made on campus. “

Geographical diversity: Out-of-state students account for a relatively large share of the fall enrollment increase. Out-of-state registrations increased 7.8%.

Graduate enrollment: In place for the fourth consecutive year. Idaho State’s 2,326 graduate students represent a 5.6% increase.

Double credit registration: 2,911, up 15.6%.

Lewis-Clark State College

After counteracting pandemic trends and attracting a slight increase in registrations last fall, overall numbers have fallen 3.8% this year.

But the current workforce, 3,710, is up from pre-pandemic figures three years ago.

Other measures:

First year students: 1,324, up 1%.

Hispanic Inscription: Up 7.1%.

Geographical diversity: While Lewis-Clark continues to attract most of its students from Idaho, out-of-state enrollment has increased by 3% and international enrollment by 53%.

“The increase in international registrations is very encouraging as it could mark a return to more normal international registration patterns,” President Cynthia Pemberton said in a press release. “The increase in non-residents is also encouraging as it means the accessibility, affordability and quality of LC State is spreading beyond the Idaho border.”

More reading: “Missing students” Idaho Education News in-depth multimedia series on higher education enrollment during the pandemic. Look for a follow-up on the project later this fall.

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior journalist and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education policy and education policy. He has over 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest of KIVI 6 On Your Side; “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television; and “Idaho Matters” on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @Kevin Richert. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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