The O Blog
OUS enrollment numbers support UO's strategic growth plan, consistent with earlier estimates
Official, fourth-week enrollment figures released this week from the Oregon University System underscore the UO's commitment to strategic enrollment growth and a top-quality educational experience for Oregon students.
"Our mission is give Oregon students the opportunity to be educated at a world class public research university, and we are accomplishing that," said Roger Thompson, the UO's vice president for enrollment management. "Everything we do is aimed at providing that opportunity."
Thompson said the UO is managing its growth to provide access and quality for Oregonians. He said the university takes seriously the balancing act of keeping enrollment on pace with facilities and faculty hiring. "At the moment, we're not on (an enrollment) growth plan," he said. "We're not interested in growing much larger than we are."
An increase the number of out-of-state students at the UO in recent years has helped provide educational opportunities for Oregon students, he said. The higher tuition rate paid by non-resident students has helped make up for reductions in state funding and prevented further increases in tuition for Oregon students.
"Our funding from the state has dipped to about 5 percent of the university's overall budget," Thompson said. "Tuition is where we have had to make up for most of that lost funding. Aneducation at the UO is still financially and academically attractive to out-of-state students, and the higher rates they pay make that same education more accessible to Oregon students. That's a no-lose proposition."
No academically eligible Oregon students have been denied admission to the UO.
And a new scholarship program for high-achieving, incoming students is expected to help the UO continue to excel in recruiting those who are the most academically-prepared. The Summit and Apex Scholarships, which will be available to next fall's incoming freshmen who apply for admission by Jan. 15, will offer as much as $20,000 (Summit) or $12,000 (Apex) over four years to those who meetminimum high school grade point averages and minimum scores on SAT or ACT tests.
This week's OUS figures are consistent overall with UO estimates generated in September by the Office of Enrollment Management.
As classes began this fall, the UO estimated that its total enrollment would approach – but not quite reach – 25,000 students. The figures from OUS show that the actual number came in at 24,591, which topped the previous record of 24,447 in fall 2011 by 144 students.
The UO's mix of students is also consistent with overall numbers from the eight OUS institutions (including the OSU's Bend campus). The OUS tally found that 23.3 percent of students throughout the system reported their race or ethnicity as other than white, non-Hispanic. More than 25 percent of the UO's 2012 freshman class are students of color, which is the highest percentage ever.