OSU touts record enrollment figures
Oregon State University set a new enrollment record this fall. The school says the total number of students across its campuses now tops 35,000 for the first time ever.
Jon Boeckenstedt, Vice President of Enrollment at OSU, said the record is driven to a large extent by the growth in the school’s online “Ecampus” program.
“It’s become dramatically more popular in the last five years or so, and the pandemic, I think, accelerated that interest," he said. "People realized that taking a high-quality degree program online is viable and workable.”
The Ecampus program experienced a 6% jump in enrollment from the previous year, but Boeckenstedt said there's a limit to how fast the university can expand its online offerings.
"Developing courses and programs and making sure they meet our quality standards is a fairly involved and slow process, so it's not like we can flip a switch and put more classes online at a moment's notice," he said.
The most popular field of study at OSU remains engineering, with roughly one-in-three graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the program. The university said nearly 30 percent of its students are people of color.
Boeckenstedt said the overall enrollment numbers mean OSU is the largest university in the state of Oregon for the ninth consecutive year.