Printed on: September 22, 2011

Record enrollment at BYU-I

By Jeff Robinson
jrobinson@postregister.com

Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg was the only university in the state to see a significant enrollment increase for the fall semester.

BYU-Idaho officials announced Wednesday a total enrollment of 15,102 students. Andy Cargal, the school's news services manager, said that represents nearly 1,000 more students than last fall and the highest enrollment figures to date.

The number of full-time equivalent students increased 5.3 percent to 13,368. The school's students are taking an average of 13.3 credit hours.

Meanwhile, the state's three public universities saw fall enrollment numbers stay flat or decline. Idaho State University in Pocatello reported 12,587 students, including those in professional-technical programs, enrolled this fall. That's down eight students from its fall 2010 enrollment, according to an Idaho State Journal article.

The University of Idaho in Moscow enrolled 12,302 students this fall, up 10 from fall 2010, while Boise State University's enrollment declined 1.6 percent to a total of 19,664. The enrollment decline at BSU was the school's first drop in students since 2004, according to an Idaho Statesman article.

Cargal said the increase in students is in line with BYU-Idaho's enrollment expansion plan, which was first announced in 2009 and then revised in 2010.

"Our plan was to grow our student population from what was at the time 12,500 full-time equivalent students to an enrollment cap 15,000 (full-time equivalent students)," Cargal said. "It was our plan to do it in phases. Right now, we are a little over 13,000, and we are inching our way toward that cap, which we expect to reach sometime in 2013 or 2014."

Cargal said it's important that the school's enrollment growth doesn't exceed available student housing or the university's ability to offer small class sizes.

"Growing slowly allows us to manage our resources effectively," Cargal said.

Most of the college student housing in Rexburg is provided by off-campus developers who work in coordination with the university. BYU-Idaho has two men's dorms and five women's dorms on campus.

This fall, off-campus developers added 282 women's beds and 24 men's beds to the off-campus housing inventory. In the winter semester, they will add another 726 women's beds and 152 men's beds.

This semester, the student body comprises 4,949 freshmen, 3,269 sophomores, 3,708 juniors and 3,072 seniors. There are 3,766 married students, comprising 25 percent of the student body. There are 6,649 male students (44 percent) and 8,453 female students (56 percent). The university has 433 international students, representing 59 countries.