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Enrollment Dips As UVU Positions For The Future

15 October 2012 No Comment

October 12, 2012
For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Brad Plothow (801) 863-7149

In conjunction with the Utah System of Higher Education’s fall enrollment report released today, Utah Valley University reported that its fall enrollment is down compared to the previous year. For fall 2012, UVU’s total headcount is down 5 percent at 31,556 and budget-related full-time equivalent enrollment is down 3 percent at 19,117. The reduction in enrollment is the result of many factors, most notably a combination of policy changes implemented simultaneously at UVU for the institution’s and students’ benefit over the long term.

“We fully expected enrollment to dip this fall as we put in place mechanisms that will allow UVU to remain open to any student while simultaneously increasing academic quality across the curriculum and enhancing student success,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland. “The policies introduced now will position UVU more favorably to carry out our vital mission roles of access and teaching excellence well into the horizon. We are absolutely doing the right things to preserve a vibrant, exciting and sustainable future for UVU and the students who rely on this institution for excellent educational opportunities.”

In an effort to preserve UVU’s historical open-admission policy while bolstering academic standards and promoting student success, UVU installed an innovative admissions model called “structured enrollment” and introduced hard deadlines for application and tuition payment. In addition, UVU made a strategic choice to limit concurrent enrollment offerings regionally rather than statewide.

“If we had continued operating business as usual, UVU’s enrollment would have conceivably been higher than last year’s record mark of more than 33,000,” said Michelle Taylor, associate vice president for enrollment management. “We have been working feverishly to make sure prospective and returning students understand these new policies so they can adjust their preparations accordingly. We want every student to start out on the right foot toward the ultimate goal of graduation.”

Between 2007 and 2011, UVU added nearly 10,000 students and became the largest public institution in Utah last fall. UVU remains one of the largest open-admission universities in the nation and educates more Utahns than any other university. Due to robust population growth estimates for UVU’s primary service region, projections peg the University’s enrollment at 46,000 by 2020.

“UVU’s growth trajectory is a reflection of the institution’s increased popularity, but our mandate is not growth for growth’s sake,” Holland said. “We are a portal to opportunity for so many in Utah and beyond, and we owe these excellent students the best possible educational experience. I believe what we are doing at UVU will become a national model for extending the benefits of first-rate higher education to more and more people, which is one of the great challenges of our time.”

The lion’s share of UVU’s enrollment dip came from two main student categories: older first-time freshmen, and current high school students. Enrollment of first-time freshmen who are more than one year removed from high school graduation is down more than 700 students, while strategic adjustments to concurrent enrollment practices contributed to a reduction of nearly 900 current high school students compared to 2011.

UVU’s ratio of full-time students is up slightly at 68 percent of total headcount compared to 67 percent in 2011. While enrollment was down among freshmen, UVU seniors are up nearly 5 percent to 7,323 students compared to 7,001 last year.

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About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utahís largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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