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OSU-Cascades fall enrollment tops 1,200, up 7.3 percent


(Update: More on OSU-Cascades enrollment numbers)

Oregon State University – Cascades is serving a total of 1,204 students, according to its official annual fall enrollment report, released Monday. The Bend campus’s enrollment report represents a 7 percent overall increase over the previous year and includes 306 first generation undergraduate students – nearly a third of the total undergraduate student body — who are the first in their families to attend college.

As the campus expands over the next decade, OSU-Cascades said that by 2025 it expects to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students, most of them from Central Oregon, a region that has been historically underserved by higher education with many first-generation students and others who have been unable to attend college.

Also included in the official fall enrollment total are 81 first-year students and 158 new transfer students. It also includes 249 total graduate students.

The official fall enrollment represents more than a 6 percent increase in full-time equivalents as students increasingly take full-time course loads. And 71 percent of students are pursuing their studies full-time, when combining credits from OSU-Cascades, OSU on-line and Central Oregon Community College.

The diversity of OSU-Cascades’ student body also includes 83 students who identfiy as Hispanic and 73 who represent two or more U.S. minorities.

The vast majority (92 percent) of OSU-Cascades students are from Oregon, with 67 percent coming from the Central Oregon region. Eight percent of students are from out-of-state, representing 28 other states, as well as seven countries.

Nearly all of OSU-Cascades’ first year students this fall are Oregonians, with 48 percent coming from Central Oregon and 10 percent from the greater Portland area.

The enrollment increase spread across majors, with the largest majors now reported as business administration, biology, human development and family sciences, kinesiology, and energy systems engineering.

The average unweighted high school GPA of OSU-Cascades’ freshman class is 3.45, with 17 percent having a GPA of 3.75 and above. Six percent of first-year students came to OSU-Cascades with sufficient college credit to enter at the sophomore or junior level. Sixty-two percent of first-year students earned college credit while in high school.

This fall term marks the first year that the OSU Honors College undergraduate degree is offered at OSU-Cascades. Nine students have embarked on the rigorous degree program in its augural year.

The largest graduate program is the counseling degree program with 84 students. The Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing has 19 enrolled students this fall. Growth in graduate student enrollment is attributed to professional development offerings for in-service teachers.

Seventy-four students are receiving veterans benefits. Of those, 62 are active duty veterans and 12 are receiving veteran dependent benefits.

The percentage of female students is 55 percent. The average age of an OSU-Cascades student is 29; the average age of a graduate student is 33. Eleven percent of students are under age 20. The youngest enrolled student is 17; the oldest is 78.

OSU-Cascades is also serving an additional 60 Central Oregon students who are taking all of their courses online through OSU’s Ecampus.

Meanwhile, overall fall term 2017 enrollment at Oregon State University grew 1.9 percent from last year, and the school’s main campus in Corvallis continued to be stable, according to figures released Monday.

Oregon State’s overall fall enrollment is 31,904 – up 601 students from 2016 – making OSU the largest university in the state of Oregon for the fourth consecutive year.

Oregon State’s fall enrollment includes:

24,760 students at the university’s main campus in Corvallis, an increase from fall 2016 of 89 students or 0.4 percent; 6,087 students in Ecampus, OSU’s nationally ranked online degree program, an increase of 405 students or 7.1 percent over last year; and 1,204 students at OSU-Cascades in Bend, an increase of 82 students or 7.3 percent more than a year ago.

“We have served as Oregon’s statewide university for 149 years and this legacy of service to our state remains our priority,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “This year, 73 percent of our degree-seeking undergraduates on our Corvallis campus are Oregon residents.

“As part of our mission, OSU provides Oregonians access to an excellent education. That will continue with this incoming class of high-achieving students.”

Oregon State continues to attract top students. This fall, 371 students entered the university’s Honors College, compared with 358 in 2016. The average unweighted GPA of the new students entering the Honors College is 3.92.

As well, of OSU’s new students:

Eleven are National Merit award winners, up from five last year. 142 of Oregon State’s new undergraduates were ranked number one in their high school graduating class. 35 are Presidential Scholars.

This fall, OSU has enrolled 7,660 students of color – Asian, African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander or students who identify as being of two or more races. This is an increase of 456 students or 6.3 percent over a year ago. In total, 24.8 percent of the Oregon State Corvallis and Ecampus enrollment identify themselves as a student of color, compared with 2,975 students and 15.1 percent of the OSU student body a decade ago.

Twenty-three percent – or 5,939 OSU undergraduates in Corvallis and studying within Ecampus – are first-generation students, an increase of nearly 1.4 percent over a year ago. At OSU-Cascades, first-generation students make up 32 percent of the enrollment.

“Oregon State is achieving excellence through inclusivity,” Ray said. “Twenty-nine percent of this year’s entering Honors College students come from diverse backgrounds. I also am pleased with the continued growth of our diversity and first-generation students in Oregon State’s overall enrollment. And that 3.4 percent of Oregon State’s overall enrollment – 1,048 students – are veterans of U.S. military service.”

“These students are near-and-dear to my heart,” said Ray, who was the first in his family to graduate from college. “OSU is expanding its efforts to increase its enrollment of people of diversity, students from low-income families and first-generation students. And through our student success initiative, OSU is providing access to an excellent higher education for all Oregonians and assisting all students on through graduation.”

OSU also continues to expand its global reach as an internationally recognized public research university. This fall, international student enrollment increased by 27 students to 3,556 students or 11.5 percent of Oregon State’s overall enrollment. International students from 110 countries attend Oregon State this fall. A decade ago, OSU enrolled 928 international students – or 4.7 percent of its overall enrollment.

Oregon State’s commitment to graduate studies and engagement in research is evident with this year’s total of 5,058 graduate students in Corvallis campus enrollment, compared with 5,027 graduate students in 2016. Graduate and professional students in OSU’s colleges of pharmacy and veterinary medicine also increased by 31 students this fall.

Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for University Relations and Marketing, said Oregon State intentionally manages its enrollment to achieve the university’s land grant mission; operate in a financially sustainable manner; and be a good neighbor in Corvallis, Bend and Newport.

“We continue to observe our commitment to slow the growth of our Corvallis campus and not grow above 28,000 students by 2025,” Clark said. “We continue to manage enrollment intentionally. The past four years, enrollment growth has been below 1 percent. That trend would indicate OSU’s Corvallis campus may not reach 28,000 students until sometime in the early 2030s.

“In Bend, we are working with the city and community members to plan the expansion of our new OSU-Cascades campus,” Clark said. “All the while, we will serve higher education needs where students live and work by enrolling more distance online students through Ecampus.”

At OSU-Cascades, 92.4 percent of the enrollment is composed of Oregonians, including 198 students who are of color – 16.4 percent of total enrollment – and 306 who are first-generation students. OSU-Cascades’ enrollment includes 955 undergraduate and 249 graduate students. New freshmen enrollment at the new campus is 81, a 37.3 percent increase from 2016.

More students are studying engineering than any other discipline. The College of Engineering has a total of 8,932 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled this fall. The next largest programs are the College of Liberal Arts, 4,182 students; the College of Business, 3,731; the College of Science, 3,533; the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, 2,841; and the College of Agricultural Sciences, 2,539.

Enrollment in other colleges and programs includes: College of Forestry, 1,118, University Exploratory Studies, 945; Graduate School, 763; College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, 803; College of Pharmacy, 390; College of Education, 295; and College of Veterinary Medicine, 243.

Oregon State’s Honors College enrolls 4.7 percent of all undergraduates with a total of 1,187 students – a 12.3 percent increase over 2016.

The most popular undergraduate majors at OSU are computer science, followed by business administration, mechanical engineering, biology and kinesiology.

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