CORVALLIS, Ore. - Fall term 2016 enrollment at Oregon State University grew 2.9 percent from last year, as stable enrollment continued at OSU's Corvallis campus and double-digit growth continued at the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend and within OSU's nationally ranked Ecampus online degree program.
Oregon State's overall fall enrollment is 31,303 - up 852 students from 2015 - making OSU the largest university in the state of Oregon for the third consecutive year.
Oregon State's fall enrollment includes:
"As Oregon's statewide university, we are committed to serve all qualified Oregonians," said OSU President Ed Ray. "This year, 74.2 percent of our degree-seeking undergraduates on our Corvallis campus are Oregon residents.
"We serve as the 'people's university' of the state of Oregon by offering diverse, high-quality academic programs at our campuses in Corvallis, Bend and Newport, and through top-ranked online degree programs. We are seeing students literally choose where, how and when it is best for them to learn. Each year, more students choose Oregon State as their destination of choice."
Oregon State continues to attract high-achieving students. Among first-time college students from Oregon high schools, 47 percent of OSU's freshmen class are considered high-achievers - having graduated from high school with a cumulative grade point of 3.75 or higher.
As well, of OSU's new students:
"Oregon State is achieving excellence through inclusivity," Ray said. "Twenty-five percent of this year's entering Honors College students come from diverse backgrounds. I also am pleased with the continued growth of U.S. minority and first-generation students in Oregon State's overall enrollment. And that 3.2 percent of Oregon State's overall enrollment - 956 students - are veterans of U.S. military service.
This fall, OSU has enrolled 7,204 students representing U.S. minorities - an increase of 450 students or 6.7 percent over a year ago. In total, 23.7 percent of the students attending Oregon State in Corvallis or within Ecampus identify themselves as a U.S. minority, compared with 2,806 students and 14.5 percent a decade ago in fall of 2006.
Twenty-three percent - or 5,858 OSU undergraduates in Corvallis or within Ecampus - are first-generation students, an increase of nearly 1 percent over a year ago. At OSU-Cascades, first-generation students make up 35.4 percent of the enrollment.
"As a first-generation college student myself, these students are near-and-dear to my heart," Ray said. "Increasing the enrollment of people of diversity, students from low-income families, and first-generation students by providing access to an excellent higher education and a college degree is essential for all Oregonians."
OSU also continues to expand its global reach as an internationally recognized public research university. This fall, international student enrollment increased by 201 students to a total of 3,529 students or 11.6 percent of Oregon State's overall enrollment. International students from 110 countries attend Oregon State this fall. A decade ago, OSU enrolled 897 international students - or 4.6 percent of its overall enrollment.
"We live and work in a global society," Ray said. "It is essential that universities such as Oregon State bring people worldwide together to learn, pursue research and engage as a community."
Oregon State's commitment to graduate studies and graduate student engagement in research is evident in this year's enrollment. Overall, the number of graduate students, including professional students in OSU's colleges of pharmacy and veterinary medicine, increased by 1.3 percent this fall to total 5,027 students, compared with 4,964 students in 2015.
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; support the state of Oregon's educational attainment goals; operate in a financially sustainable manner; and be a good neighbor in Corvallis, Bend and Newport.
"We manage enrollment very mindfully," Clark said. "For example, we have promised to slow the growth of our Corvallis campus and not grow above 28,000 students by 2025 by limiting enrollment growth to 1-2 percent each year. We are doing so intentionally and with good results. The past three years, our enrollment growth has been well below 1 percent and with such a trend, OSU's Corvallis campus may not reach 28,000 students until sometime in the early 2030s."
"In Bend, we have committed to limit our new OSU-Cascades campus to between 3,000 to 5,000 students by 2025, and in Newport, to between 400 to 500 students. At the same time, we will provide higher education where students live and work by enrolling more distance online students through Ecampus," Clark said.
At OSU-Cascades, 92.2 percent of the enrollment is composed of Oregonians, including 205 students who are U.S. minorities - a 17 percent increase from 2015 - and 323 are first-generation students - a 7.7 percent increase from a year ago. Overall, OSU-Cascades' enrollment includes 912 undergraduate and 210 graduate students. Freshmen enrollment at the new campus, which opened in September, increased 17.7 percent from 2015.
More students are studying engineering than any other discipline. The College of Engineering has a total of 8,724 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled this fall. The next largest programs are the College of Liberal Arts, 4,178 students; the College of Business, 3,726; the College of Science, 3,503; the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, 3,009; and the College of Agricultural Sciences, 2,580.
Enrollment in other colleges and programs includes: College of Forestry, 1,093, University Exploratory Studies, 1,081; Graduate School, 830; College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, 739; College of Pharmacy, 370; College of Education, 300; and College of Veterinary Medicine, 221.
Oregon State's Honors College enrolls 4.2 percent of all undergraduates with a total of 1,057 students - a 3.6 percent increase over 2015.
The most popular undergraduate majors at OSU are computer science, followed by business administration, mechanical engineering, kinesiology and biology.
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Steve Clark, 541-737-4875