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Falling retention rates affect UI enrollment

Overall fall enrollment at the University of Idaho was up by 85 students to 11,926.

The University said full-time on-campus student enrollment is down by a few tenths of a percent, but has stabilized over the past four years. Because of federal immigration processes, international student enrollment declined for the first time in several years.

“Given national demographic challenges, we are pleased with the enrollment increase in our freshman class,” University of Idaho President Scott Green said. “We recognize that unmet financial need is an issue with our continuing student population and are committed to addressing this over time through Vandal Promise Scholarships as our fundraising priority.”

First-time undergraduate student enrollment was up 1.9%. That helped make up for a decline in total undergraduate enrollment, which was down 4.2% from year-ago levels.

Graduate student enrollment is up by 2.6%.

The University said it’s overall first-time, full-time student retention rate was 77.3%, down from 80.7% last year.

“Our current student mix is changing rapidly,” said Dean Kahler, vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management. “The change is impacting net tuition revenue, but we anticipate this will stabilize within the next few years. We are pleased to participate fully in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program to compensate for declining enrollment in other markets, and we are focusing on new marketing efforts to attract out-of-state students to the University of Idaho.”

UI officials said efforts are being made to improve student retention rates. A new advising model has been established, and they are optimistic those rates will improve in the future.

KIFI 2019

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