Enrollment at Boise State University and the University of Idaho dropped as students returned to classes this fall.
Boise State enrollment declined by 3 percent to 22,003. U of I’s enrollment fell 5 percent to 11,844.
Boise State reported a 9 percent decline in its freshman class to 5,715 this year.
Boise State officials think part of the reason could be more students deciding to attend College of Western Idaho, a more economical alternative for students. But the university hasn’t crunched the numbers yet, said Greg Hahn, BSU spokesman.
“The far-sighted creation of CWI by the governor, the Legislature and the voters of the Treasure Valley has played a key role in Boise State’s development,” said Bob Kustra, Boise State president. “Transferring our land and resources like the Selland College of Applied Technology to CWI has created unfettered opportunities for non-traditional, at-risk and financially savvy students to gain valuable skills and a head start on academic success.”
Boise State says its retention rate for students is at an all-time high for the university, about 70 percent.
Earlier today I reported enrollment figures from U of I.
Reasons for the decline at U of I: A 6 percent drop in the number of continuing students to 8,028. The drop was caused by students graduating more quickly because of the reduced number of credits needed to get a diploma and the falling number of first-year students in the three prior years, school officials said.
U of I’s freshman class held about even at 1,638, up from 1,633.
Other enrollment highlights:
– Student retention rate was 79 percent, the highest among public colleges and universities in Idaho, U of I officials said.
– Nearly three-fourths of first-year students come from Idaho.
– U of I law school enrollment is at 113, up 3.7 percent.
– Enrollment at U of I Boise is 322, up 3.5 percent.
– More than a third — 35.2 percent — of first-year U of I undergraduates are first-generation college students.
“The fact that over one-third of our new first-year undergraduates are first in their families to attend college demonstrates that the University of Idaho is playing a significant role in preparing Idahoans for the future,” said Katherine Aiken, interim provost and executive vice president.