ISU enrollment drops, as Middle Eastern students leave campus

While Boise State University and the University of Idaho logged enrollment increases this fall, Idaho State University is dealing with an enrollment decrease.

ISU enrollment dropped by more than 400 students, the Idaho State Journal reported. All told, undergraduate and graduate enrollment at the university sits at 12,643.

The big reason for the decrease is a drop in enrollment in students from the Middle East. As recently as 2015, 1,200 Middle Eastern students attended ISU. Since then, Middle Eastern students have complained that they have been subject to discrimination.

Now, about 300 Middle Eastern students remain on campus, the Journal reported.

ISU reported one positive trend: More Idaho freshmen are coming to the Pocatello campus. This year’s class of first-year in-state students totaled 1,403, up from 1,238 in 2016, the Journal reported.

Earlier this month, BSU reported record fall enrollment of 24,154, including record numbers of first-year students.

Last week, the U of I reported fall enrollment of 12,072, its second consecutive year of enrollment growth.

The mixed enrollment numbers come as the state is trying to encourage more high school students to continue their education — and enroll in Idaho colleges. Idaho is two years into a “direct admissions” program, which pre-approves qualified high school seniors to enroll in some or all of the state’s two- and four-year schools.



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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