OGDEN, Utah – This fall, a record number of students are attending classes at Weber State University.
As of the third week of fall semester, when the state institutions report their enrollment figures to the Utah System of Higher Education, WSU had a headcount of 21,674 students. That’s an increase of more than 3,350 students, or 18 percent, in comparison with fall semester 2007.
This semester marks the first time that WSU’s enrollment has exceeded 20,000 students, let alone 21,000. The previous high enrollment total came in fall 2003, when WSU reported 18,821 students.
The university’s full-time equivalent (FTE) figures for fall semester also are up 7.9 percent compared to the same time last year. WSU's budget-related FTE rose by 273, a 2.4 percent increase. Full-time equivalent is calculated by taking the total number of credit hours for all students and dividing by 15, the average number of credit hours for a full-time student.
University officials attribute the enrollment growth to multiple factors. Enrollment in WSU’s eight graduate programs is up 15 percent. Online enrollment has increased and now accounts for 17 percent of total enrollment. In addition, marketing efforts have attracted new students, and more concurrent enrollment students are registered at WSU during the fall semester.
“In the past, most concurrent enrollment students were not registered during the fall term,” said Provost Michael Vaughan. “This year’s numbers reflect the adoption of standard registration practices suggested by the Board of Regents.”
Vaughan said WSU is the fourth-largest provider of concurrent enrollment classes in the state. “Concurrent enrollment is a high priority for Weber State University because it serves the needs of area students and local school districts,” Vaughan said.
The university’s “Get into Weber” marketing campaign is credited with raising greater awareness and interest in the school. Vaughan also noted that during periods of economic uncertainty, more students recognize the value of a college education.
The strong enrollment numbers are the latest in a string of data that indicate increased interest in WSU. Full-time equivalent enrollment for summer session 2008 was up, and the university’s residence halls are at full capacity for the second year in a row.
“People know that we offer a quality, personalized educational experience that fits their busy schedules,” said Vaughan. “That’s a major selling point for our students.”
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.
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