Idaho universities post enrollment increases

(UPDATED, Oct. 25, with enrollment figures from Lewis-Clark State College.)

Fall enrollment is up at all four of Idaho’s four-year public institutions.

Here’s a closer look at the numbers.

Boise State University

Numbers are up across the board, as the state’s largest university set a new enrollment record.

Overall enrollment totaled 26,272, a 3 percent increase.

For the fourth consecutive year, Boise State’s freshman class set a record. First-year student enrollment came in 3,027, up 5 percent.

“We’re thrilled that so many students from Idaho and beyond have chosen to become Broncos,” President Marlene Tromp said in a news release. “We are committed to providing all of our students unrivaled academic opportunities and student-life experiences that foster their growth and help them make their unique impact in the world.”

Undergraduate enrollment totaled 16,898, up by 2 percent.

Graduate school enrollment reached a record 2,927.

Idaho State University

Overall enrollment came in at 12,425, a 0.3 percent increase.

However, undergraduate enrollment came in at 7,273, dropping by 4 percent.

And international student enrollment continued to dwindle, dropping by 27 percent.

“We are seeing positive trends in our enrollment data,” President Kevin Satterlee said in a release. “But it is important not to lose focus on improvements that must be made. We are working to solve a multi-year enrollment problem, and it will take time to impact meaningful change.”

Among this year’s bright spots: Graduate school enrollment reached 2,008, up 5 percent, while Hispanic student enrollment increased by 4 percent.

University of Idaho

Overall enrollment came in at 11,926, an increase of less than 1 percent. But from there, the numbers are a mixed bag.

The U of I welcomed 1,475 first-year students to campus this fall, a 2 percent increase.

Overall undergraduate enrollment dropped to 7,227, down 4 percent, as fewer students returned to the U of I for the new school year.

Retention rates also dropped. Seventy-seven percent of full-time students returned for their second year of school, down from 81 percent the previous year.

“Given national demographic challenges, we are pleased with the enrollment increase in our freshman class,” President Scott Green said in a news release Wednesday. “We recognize that unmet financial need is an issue with our continuing student population and are committed to addressing this over time through Vandal Promise Scholarships as our fundraising priority.”

Graduate school enrollment climbed to 1,803, about a 3 percent increase.

Lewis-Clark State College

Fall enrollment of 3,748 represents an increase of nearly 2 percent.

“While we’re excited to see enrollment headed in the right direction, we know that there is much more work to be done,” President Cynthia Pemberton said.

LCSC attributed much of the difference to nearly a 28 percent increase in new students, including a surge in dual-credit enrollment. The number of students enrolling directly from high school increased by more than 5 percent, while the number of transfer students increased by more than 30 percent.

Dual enrollment

Idaho’s growing advanced opportunities program also contributed to the enrollment increases, as high school students continue to enroll in college-level classes at taxpayer expense.

The dual enrollment tally: 5,781 at Boise State, 2,948 at ISU and 1,953 at U of I.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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