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U of I Fall Enrollment Up Slightly, Growth in New Freshmen

October 23, 2019

MOSCOW, Idaho – Oct. 23, 2019 — Overall student enrollment at the University of Idaho for the fall 2019 is 11,926 students, up slightly over fall 2018 enrollment of 11,841 students. The increase is in first-time freshmen, non-degree and graduate student enrollment. Full-time on-campus student enrollment is down by a few tenths of a percent but has stabilized over the past four years. International student enrollment declined this fall for the first time in several years due to significant challenges in federal immigration processes. An improvement in the way the university is able to categorize, track and assist National Student Exchange students was implemented.

“Given national demographic challenges, we are pleased with the enrollment increase in our freshman class,” University of Idaho President Scott Green said. “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.”

Undergraduate Enrollment

First-time undergraduate student enrollment is 1,475, up 1.9 percent over 1,447 in fall 2018. A decline in the continuing student population has resulted in a decline in total undergraduate enrollment to 7,227 in fall 2019, down 4 percent from 7,528 in fall 2018. Idaho resident undergraduate enrollment is down 4.2 percent (full-time and part-time) from fall 2018, mitigated by a slight increase in non-resident undergraduate enrollment of 1,618 compared to 1,608 in fall 2018.

Graduate Enrollment

Graduate student enrollment is 1,803 students, up 2.6 percent this fall over 1,757 in fall 2018. The university invested in more competitive packages for graduate teaching assistants two years ago, which generated increased interest in graduate programs and helped fulfill the university’s educational mission while supporting students in their graduate studies. The university also enhanced professional development opportunities for graduate students, making U of I more attractive to students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

The WUE program provides a tuition discount to students outside Idaho and was expanded in 2017 to include all 16 Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) states. Overall non-resident undergraduate enrollment is up slightly over fall 2018. Total WUE students in fall 2019 increased 40.3 percent to 1,018, up from 724 in 2018.

“Our current student mix is changing rapidly,” said Dean Kahler, vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management. “The change is impacting net tuition revenue but we anticipate this will stabilize within the next few years. We are pleased to participate fully in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program to compensate for declining enrollment in other markets and we are focusing on new marketing efforts to attract out-of-state students to the University of Idaho.”

Dual-Credit Enrollment

Dual-credit enrollment (high school students enrolled in classes with university credits), sits at 1,953 this fall, which exceeds U of I’s strategic plan goal of 1,250 dual-credit students. Dual-credit is an initiative supported by the Idaho Legislature through the Fast Forward program, now in its fourth year. Fall 2019 non-degree student enrollment is 2,481, up 14.8 percent over 2,162 in fall 2018.

Student Retention

The overall first-time, full-time student retention rate for fall 2018-2019 is 77.3 percent, down from 80.7 percent in 2017-2018. The university continues to implement strategies to improve retention, including enhancing student financial support, adopting the Complete College America framework and full implementation of VandalStar, a web-based retention and advising tool that provides an efficient way to offer coordinated support to all students, ensuring they receive the right kind of assistance at the right time to keep them on track. A new advising model has been established and the university is optimistic that retention rates will improve going forward.

Note: Consistent with the Idaho State Board of Education’s guidelines, the University of Idaho records fall term 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.

Media Contact

Jodi Walker
Director of 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 12,000 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