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OSU-Cascades fall enrollment up 4.1%

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OSU enrollment overall sets record for sixth straight year

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Fall term enrollment at Oregon State University–Cascades in Bend has increased 4.1% and includes 28% more first-year students than a year ago, the school said Thursday.

The cohort of 145 incoming first-year students dropped the average age of OSU-Cascades students from 25 to 24.

In total, 1,311 students are enrolled at the Bend campus.

Eighty-two percent of OSU-Cascades’ first-year students are Oregonians, and 26.9% are students of color. Overall enrollment of students of color at OSU-Cascades increased slightly to 17.5%. The fall 2019 enrollment includes 306 undergraduate students who are the first in their families to attend college.

The average unweighted high school GPA of OSU-Cascades’ first-year class increased from 3.46 to 3.49.  First-year students with a high school GPA of 3.75 or higher increased to 28%.

Thirteen percent of first-year students came to OSU-Cascades with enough college credit to enter at the sophomore or junior level. Nearly 61% of first-year students earned college credit while in high school.

Of the 578 transfer students at OSU-Cascades, 62% are from Central Oregon and previously attended Central Oregon Community College. 

Sixty-five percent of undergraduate students pursue their studies full-time when combining credits from OSU-Cascades, OSU Ecampus and COCC. Through a degree partnership program with COCC, 270 students are taking at least one class at the community college.

Eighty-five percent of OSU-Cascades students are from Oregon, with 61% coming from the Central Oregon region. Fifteen percent of students are from out-of-state, including students from 34 states, as well as nine countries.

OSU-Cascades’ enrollment increase was spread across disciplines, with the most popular majors being biology, business administration, energy systems engineering, computer science, natural resources, and kinesiology.

Newly launched undergraduate degree programs in elementary education, and in art, media and technology attracted 19 and 17 students respectively, which are the highest starting enrollments of any major launched at the campus. 

This fall term marks the third year that the OSU Honors College undergraduate degree is offered at OSU-Cascades.  Twenty-seven students are enrolled in the rigorous degree program – a 35% increase from a year ago.

OSU-Cascades enrolled 285 graduate students in fall 2019. The counseling degree program is the largest with 80 students. Forty students are enrolled in the Master of Arts in teaching program.  The low-residency Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program has 21 enrolled students this fall.  The average age of a graduate student is 39.

Seventy-seven student veterans are enrolled at OSU-Cascades. 

The youngest enrolled student is 16 and the oldest is 79.

Overall, Oregon State University enrolled a record number of students, including increases in students of color and veterans, for fall term, the school announced Thursday. It said the growth has been fueled by increases in students attending the university’s nationally ranked online Ecampus program and OSU-Cascades.

Oregon State’s fall term 2019 enrollment of 32,774 students is up 763 students over last year, making OSU the largest university in the state for the sixth consecutive year.

Oregon State said it "continues to be a school of choice among Oregon residents," with 13,605 students, or 71.4%, of the Corvallis campus degree-seeking undergraduate enrollment coming from the state. That includes students from all 36 Oregon counties. At OSU-Cascades, 1,117 students, representing 85.3% of enrollment, were Oregon residents.

“True to its mission for the past 151 years, Oregon State provides access to an excellent higher education for all Oregonians,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “We are teaching more students each year – where they are located and how and when they want to learn – whether it is at our resident campuses in Corvallis or at OSU-Cascades in Bend, or through online learning in their communities around the state, nation or worldwide.

“I am very proud that OSU continues to be a destination of choice for undergraduate students throughout Oregon and a welcoming place for more graduate students, more students of color, more international students and more veterans each year.”

Enrollment at OSU’s Corvallis campus totals 24,203 students. That represents 87 fewer students or less than a half-percent decrease from fall 2018, compared with a decrease of 1.8% from 2017 to 2018. Meanwhile, OSU enrolled 7,467 students solely in Ecampus, an increase of 902 students or 13.7% over last year.

Oregon State’s fall enrollment includes:

  • 8,327 students of color, an increase of 470 students, or 6%, over last year. Students of color now make up more than 26% of OSU’s overall enrollment;
  • 1,253 veterans, a 7.8% increase over last year;
  • 87 more transfer students, a 4.5% over last year, enrolling at OSU from community colleges and other colleges;
  • 186 more graduate students, a 4% increase from fall 2018;
  • 3,492 international students, an increase of 82 students from fall 2018. That is a shift after a decline of 146 international students from 2017 to 2018. This fall, OSU’s international student enrollment of 3,492 students represents 11% of the university’s enrollment. International students come from more 100 countries.
  • 97 students taking hybrid class offerings at the OSU Portland Center;
  • 95 Oregon State students enrolled at the OSU Agriculture & Natural Resource Program at the Eastern Oregon University campus in La Grande.

The increase in students of color – American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander or students who identify as being of two or more races –  continues a 10-year trend at Oregon State. In 2009, the number of students of color was 3,542. This year’s figure of 8,327 represents a 135% increase since 2009.

At OSU-Cascades, 229 students, or 17.5% of the campus’ enrollment, identify as students of color. This represents a 6% increase over 2018. For more information about OSU-Cascades’ fall 2019 enrollment data visit:

Additionally, 22.8% – or 5,978 – of OSU undergraduates are first-generation college students, a 1.6% increase from a year ago. Meanwhile, 29.8% of OSU-Cascades undergraduates are first-generation college students.

Oregon State continues to attract top students. The average GPA of new students coming to OSU from high school is 3.61. Additionally, 480 students entered the university’s Honors College this fall. Oregon State’s Honors College enrolls 5.5% of all undergraduates, or 1,430 students – a 6.3% increase over 2018.

As well, of OSU’s new students:

  • 10 are National Merit award winners;
  • 158 of Oregon State’s new undergraduates were ranked No. 1 or 2 in their high school graduating class;
  • 35 are Presidential Scholars, Oregon State’s most prestigious scholarship award.

Oregon State continues growth in graduate studies with 5,472 graduate students this year – including students enrolled in programs in pharmacy and veterinary medicine – compared with 5,287 graduate students in 2018.

OSU-Cascades’ enrollment includes 1,026 undergraduate and 285 graduate students. The number of first-year students at the campus increased by 28%.

Enrollment increased in nine of Oregon State’s 11 colleges. Engineering remains the most popular discipline at Oregon State. The College of Engineering has 9,347 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled this fall. The next largest programs are the College of Liberal Arts, 4,378 students; the College of Business, 4,039; the College of Science, 3,714; the College of Agricultural Sciences, 2,697; and the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, 2,515.

Enrollments in other colleges and programs are: College of Forestry, 1,207; College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, 1,028; University Exploratory Studies, 783; College of Pharmacy, 377; College of Education, 406; College of Veterinary Medicine, 275; and interdisciplinary graduate programs, 842.

The most popular undergraduate majors at Oregon State are computer science, followed by business administration, mechanical engineering, general engineering and psychology. General engineering is a program for entering undergraduates in the College of Engineering who will later select a specific engineering major.

Enrollment by class standing also shifted slightly this year. Freshman totaled 4,135 this fall, down from 4,336 last fall. But sophomore, junior and senior numbers increased, with seniors jumping the most, from 7,843 last fall to 8,163 this fall.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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Barney Lerten

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