The Numbers Speak Loudly About the State of the UI
October 19, 2016
Official overall student enrollment at the University of Idaho increased to 11,780 for fall 2016, up 3.6 percent from 11,371 in fall 2015. Enrollment this fall is higher than it was when President Chuck Staben joined UI in 2014. And it is the first overall enrollment increase since 2012. Enrollment is up in several key areas including first-time undergraduate (resident and non-resident) and underrepresented students.
Over the last month UI informally shared preliminary enrollment estimates with faculty and staff as an unofficial update. The final official numbers UI reports today indicate those initial estimates were low in certain areas.
“I am very pleased to see an overall enrollment increase at UI and we are definitely gaining ground in our enrollment goals,” said UI President Chuck Staben. “I am especially pleased to see an increase in Idaho resident students. UI is Idaho’s land-grant university and we have a special responsibility to educate the citizenry of this state. We are very proud to fulfill that responsibility. And while I am glad to see UI enrollment headed in the right direction, there is still work to do. We will continue working hard to grow our enrollment year-after-year.”
First-time resident undergraduate student enrollment totaled 1,235, up 6.5 percent over fall 2015. This increase is due largely to a year of concerted, focused enrollment marketing work by UI with support from the statewide Direct Admissions initiative that removed barriers to higher education for Idaho high school students. Total first-year students this semester is 1,660, up 4.5 percent from fall 2015. Total new student enrollment, which includes non-degree students and dual enrollment, is 4,504, up 20 percent from fall 2015.
“Enrollment is front and center in our journey to the highest level of excellence as articulated in UI’s new strategic plan,” said Provost and Executive Vice President John Wiencek. “Increased enrollment numbers this year are the result of President Staben’s steady leadership and vision. Enrollment doesn’t go up by accident. The numbers this year are a direct result of his guidance in the Direct Admissions process and Enroll Idaho. We continue to make a difference in the lives of Idaho’s students and citizens – this is just one part of our mission, and it is why we come to work each day.”
First-time resident transfer student enrollment is up 8.6 percent over 2015 because of UI's VandaLink transfer programs – agreements with Idaho’s community colleges that provide a more seamless transfer for students. Community college transfer students are typically well-prepared to succeed at a four-year university, and UI is working hard to hold the door open for them.
First-time domestic non-resident student enrollment is up 3.5 percent and domestic non-resident transfer student enrollment is up 7.4 percent over fall 2015. Total international student enrollment is down 10.5 percent due mainly to reductions in foreign home country support, especially from oil-producing regions of the world.
Underrepresented populations are up across the board, led by a 9.8 percent increase in Native American students. UI has increased its efforts to reach these students over the last year, including signing a memorandum of understanding with 10 tribes allowing members of these tribes to pay in-state tuition regardless of where they live.
Enrollment is up significantly in dual-credit student enrollment as high school students take advantage of the newly established Fast Forward program approved by the Idaho legislature last year. WWAMI, Idaho’s medical school, is also up this fall as the state legislature approved adding 5 additional seats, bringing the total to 40.
In addition, UI enrolled 17 new National Merit Scholars in the fall 2016 semester, bringing the total overall National Merit Scholar enrollment to 81 students, surpassing last year’s record number. UI enrolls more National Merit scholars than any public university in the Northwest.
Other Fall 2016 Highlights:
- Total resident enrollment is up 7.7 percent.
- New student transfer enrollment is up 4.9 percent, totaling 596 students, compared to 568 in 2015.
- 23.2 percent of UI students self-identify as members of an ethnic or racially diverse group up from 16.2 percent in fall 2015.
Note: Consistent with the Idaho State Board of Education’s guidelines, the University of Idaho records enrollment numbers on Oct. 15 of each year and reports those numbers to the state of Idaho and federal officials. Data reflected in this release are as reported to the Idaho State Board of Education on Oct. 17, 2016.
Director, University Communications
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu