Enrollment numbers at Utah State University have reached an all-time high.

USU's fall headcount is up 702 students from last year with an enrollment of 25,767, the highest in the university's 122 years.

USU Executive Vice President and Provost Raymond Coward attributes growth in enrollment, which is based on full-time equivalent enrollments, to the university's faculty, affordability and the increasing number of Utah State access points.

"The students are attracted to this university now and in the past, but now even more, because of the quality of the education that we're able to deliver," he said.

Coward said university officials aren't surprised by the jump because of the yearlong recruitment process and a record number of applications.

USU saw growth across the board, he said.

"There's just no bad numbers in this report, I mean, they're just all good," he said.

The school's Logan campus recorded the highest number of first-time students with 3,125, Coward said.

Another record number is the 12,109 students at USU distance education centers and regional campuses. This year, 8 percent more students enrolled at USU distance education centers and regional campuses.

The number of first-time students at regional campuses also jumped.

There are 16,472 students attending the Logan campus, which, compared to last year, is an increase of 860.

Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah also an increase in numbers as well. Enrollment at USU-CEU, which merged in July, is 2,634, growing by almost 500 students. This number is not included in the record enrollment number.

Graduate students, transfer students and out-of-state students also increased, Coward said. The number of minority students is the largest in history, he said. Minority student enrollment at Utah State grew 26 percent. Growth occurred among American Indian students, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, black and Latino students, he said.

"We're moving in the right direction," Coward said.

Coward said underrepresented ethnic and racial groups are twice what they were in the fall of 2005, growing by 54.1 percent. Minority groups now represent 6.5 percent of USU students.

An increase in minority student enrollment is a trend that occurred statewide, according to Holly Braithwaite, communications director for the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. Across the state there was a large percentage increase of Hispanic, black and female students, she said.

Increased enrollment didn't just occurred at USU. For the third year in a row, enrollment at colleges and universities in Utah has increased.

Braithwaite is encouraged by the continual climb in enrollment. She said students are interested in furthering their education.

"This is an important investment in their future," Braithwaite said.

The only downturn in numbers that USU saw occurred with students arriving on campus with concurrent enrollment, Coward said. Two years ago, USU officials decided to offer concurrent enrollment courses only to schools near a USU campus. It has taken two years to see the effects of that "deliberate, strategic move," Coward said.





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