Ryan Dangerfield | Staff Writer |@ryandanger23
Recently the Utah System of Higher Education released the enrollment numbers for the most recent semester, and have found Utah Valley University has increased in size and the total number of class credits students take on campus. Salt Lake Community College, University of Utah, Southern Utah University, and Utah State University all had decreases in their total number of students enrolled.
In 2011, Utah Valley University became the largest institution of higher education in Utah, with enrollment surging over 33,000 students, which was followed by a two year period of enrollment dips, during which time University of Utah became the largest, due largely to the LDS church changing its missionary age policy.
According to USHE, UVU now has 31,332 students, and the student body has grown 2.51% since this time last year. Those students combined to take 278,000 credit hours, more than last year at this tim and more credit hours than Weber State University, Salt Lake Community College, or Southern Utah University, Snow College, and Dixie State University combined.
There were only three universities or colleges, that grew this year in both total headcount and full-time enrollment. The other two were Snow College and Dixie State University.
“The growth we’ve experienced over the past decade is remarkable,” said Chris Taylor, associate vice president of university marketing & communications. “The institution was founded in 1941 with a few hundred students learning wartime trades on the old fairgrounds in Provo. Now we are one of the largest institutions in the state 73 years later, and serving over 31,000 students.”
To help pay for the growth UVU has experienced in recent years, more than $21 million in additional ongoing state funding was granted by the state legislature in 2014. The university will open doors to a new classroom building by spring 2015. The university also opened the new Student Life and Wellness Center in April 2014.
The university also recently purchased 225 acres of land right along the UTA Frontrunner corridor. These recent improvements and purchases have enabled the administration to position well for the projected growth in years to come. UVU’s student body is projected to exceed 40,000 students by 2020.
The average number of credits for UVU students is currently approximately nine per student. More credits per student than Weber State University (7.5) and Salt Lake Community College. (7.1) Current enrollment at UVU is equal to 18,560 students taking a full time 15 credit load, or budget-related FTE.
UVU currently offers the full gamut of degree offerings, ranging from 31 certificates, 62 associates, 66 bachelors & masters, to 3 graduate degrees, which allows people regardless of academic aspirations and goals to have an opportunity to study at all levels of education.
“Size is not our benchmark for success. It is an indicator students want to be here,” said Taylor. “However, the growth is also, and more importantly, an indicator that students see this as a quality institution of higher education, and quality is one of our benchmarks for success.”