EDUCATION

Utah colleges and universities see large enrollment gains

Oct 25, 2021, 4:23 PM | Updated: 8:24 pm
utah valley university enrollment...
FILE: People walk around Utah Valley University in Orem on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Colleges and universities across the state of Utah report increased enrollment numbers for fall 2021 over 2020. And in the cases of many trade and technical programs, that growth came in double-digits. 

Each of the major institutions in the state released their fall enrollment numbers for 2021 on Monday.  The Utah System of Higher Education reported overall, state colleges and universities saw a 2.24% increase in enrollment over a year ago. 

Enrollment up across Utah universities, trade schools

The University of Utah reported a new record for total enrollment in school history, as well as its largest ever freshman class. For the first time, the university reported more than 5,000 incoming first-time freshmen at the U., with 5,361, an increase of 19.6%. Overall, enrollment at the University of Utah rose 4.2% to 34,424.  

Utah Valley University maintains its status as the state’s largest four-year school, with a fall enrollment of 41,262 students. It’s a slight increase of just under 1%. This spring, the school graduated its largest class ever. Scott Trotter, public relations director for the school, said the reasons for the uptick in enrollment are as diverse as each school’s student bodies. 

“Everything from the increasing numbers of graduate students, to our incoming freshmen right out of high school,” Trotter said. “We’ve had the largest number of women attending ever at Utah Valley University, and people of color — I think that number went up 10%.” 

Concurrent enrollment, online options and technical programs shine

At Weber State University, officials reported a slight increase in enrollment to 29,774 students, up just under 200 students from last year.  However, the school said its “Concurrent Enrollment” courses, in which high school students can begin earning college credit, increased 6.4%. And like UVU, the university says that population is becoming more diverse: the number of students in those classes who self-identify as Black, Asian, Native American or Pacific Islander rose 9.8% over a year ago. 

Cedar City’s Southwest Technical College outpaced all other trade programs in Utah with enrollment growth of around 20.6%. 

Southern Utah University also set a record for enrollment with an 8% increase to 13,611 students. School officials say a 42% increase in their online degree program drove much of that growth, with online students representing around 6% of the student population. 

Other technical schools with big gains include: 

  • Bridgerland Technical College: 2,964, 8.29% increase
  • Dixie Technical College: 1,138, 14.49% increase
  • Mountainland Technical College: 3,758, 11.22% increase
  • Ogden-Weber Technical College: 4,035, 11.68% increase
  • Tooele Technical College: 810, 13.45% increase
  • Uintah Basin Technical College: 1,934, 17.71% increase

Some schools report slight decreases

A few schools reported slight drops in enrollment. Enrollment decreased 0.96% at Utah State University, to 27,426, and about a quarter of a percent at Salt Lake Community College, to 27,225. Davis Technical College reported the steepest decrease in enrollment with a drop of 5.16%. 

Read more: 

Today’s Top Stories

Education

Neil Cummins Elementary School had to send 75 students to quarantine ahead of Thanksgiving holiday....
Sara Smart, CNN

Parents knowingly sent their child to school after they tested positive for Covid-19, 75 classmates were forced to quarantine

Dozens of Thanksgiving plans were canceled after one California family decided to send a child to school after testing positive for COVID-19
1 day ago
FILE- Davis County School District headquarters. Photo: KSLTV...
Paul Nelson

Davis School District tells how it’ll improve handling of racism investigations

Davis School District is describing how it will improve the handling of racism investigations.
1 day ago
layton football player suspended over n word...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Black Layton football player punished after being called a racial slur

A Layton football player says he received a suspension for using a racial slur, but he says it was only used to tell someone not to call him the n-word.
1 day ago
About 30 deaf children got a visit from a children's book author Laura Blum on Friday, who 'signed'...
Mark Jackson

Author brings books, smiles to children at Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Ogden

(Ogden, UT)  —  Some deaf and hard-of-hearing children get the gift of donated books this holiday season – thanks in part to author Laura Blum.  Around 30 children at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind got a visit from Blum, who not only is an author but a sign language interpreter, ‘signing’ her […]
1 day ago
Photo: Salt Lake City School District...
Paul Nelson

Educators trying to bring resource officers back to SLC schools

Before the pandemic, ten Salt Lake City Police officers were assigned to protect students on the campuses of the school district.  Currently, there are only five patrolling the halls.
4 days ago
grizzlies pride night...
Eliza Craig

Utah Grizzlies to host first LGBTQ+ Pride night with parade flag

The 200-foot-long Pride flag, used in the annual Pride Parade, will make its debut on the hockey rink for the first annual Utah Grizzlies Pride night.
5 days ago
Utah colleges and universities see large enrollment gains