SUU sees greatest increase in enrollment of all Utah public colleges, universities

Students at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Utah’s public colleges and universities are seeing another increase in student enrollment this fall semester.

The first “snapshot” of student enrollment for the 2018-19 school year shows the number of students at the state’s public colleges and universities increased by 3,915 students, for a net increase of 2.17 percent over Fall 2017. Current projections indicate that an additional 57,000 students will enroll in Utah’s public colleges and universities over the next decade.

“It’s wonderful that so many students are choosing to attend college, as it will make a significant difference in their future earnings and opportunities in life,” Harris Simmons, chair of the Utah Board of Regents, said in a press release. “With the anticipated influx of students over the next decade, it will be increasingly important to continue to receive legislative support to keep higher education accessible and affordable for all Utahns.”

Leading the system in student enrollment is Southern Utah University with a 7.69 percent increase over last year. SUU has seen steady growth since 2014 with an increase in student population by 34 percent. Its current headcount for fall semester is 10,196.

University officials project headcount will exceed 11,000 students by the end of term through its online, certificate and licensure programs, which have flexible start dates.

Read more: New business building dedicated at Southern Utah University

“These numbers reflect what myself, my team and the SUU community already know; we know that SUU is the best university experience in the state,” Brandon Wright, assistant vice president for enrollment management, said in the press release. “We’re proud of the caliber of students that are present in our freshman class and are thrilled with the growth.”

This year SUU welcomed the largest number of incoming students to campus with 2,131 new first-time undergraduate students, a 9.4 percent increase over last year.

In Washington County, Dixie State University posted an increase in student enrollment for the third consecutive year.

Dixie State’s Fall 2018 student population, comprised of 9,950 individuals, increased by 2.86 percent from last year as indicated by USHE’s Fall 2018 3rd Week Headcount Enrollment Report. Dixie State’s third-week fall enrollment has increased by 16.18 percent in the last three years alone and by more than 54 percent in the last decade.

“The secret about Dixie’s great value — a high-quality education at an affordable price — is getting out, and we couldn’t be more thrilled,” Dixie State University President Richard “Biff” Williams said in the press release. “This increase of students is allowing us to create more academic programs, facilities and initiatives than ever before. As a result, these additions are strengthening not just our institution, but the entire Southern Utah community as a whole.”

Included in DSU’s growth is an increase in diversity, particularly among the Asian, Hispanic and Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian student populations, which jumped by 23, 5 and 4 percent respectively.

Offering its expanding student body more academic programs, Dixie State opened its first graduate program, a Master of Accountancy, this fall.

Read more: Dixie State University president touts school’s progress, outlines goals during annual address

Additionally, during this calendar year alone, DSU added bachelor’s degrees in music performance, mechanical engineering, design and molecular biology-biochemistry in addition to gaining the Board of Trustees’ approval for an applied and computational math degree, which still awaits final approval from the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities. With these additions, the University will offer baccalaureate degrees in 44 distinct fields of study.

To learn more about enrollment in Utah’s public colleges and universities, visit the Utah System of Higher Education website.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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