Utah colleges see enrollment growth despite pandemic

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(Courtesy of the University of Utah)

UTAH (ABC4) – Amid the reopening of in-person school attendance, Utah colleges and universities have seen enrollment growth compared to 2020.

In an annual report, the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) reports overall enrollment growth of 2.24% or 4,649 students. The report tracks all community colleges, universities, and technical colleges in the state. Schools not reported in the count include those offering non-traditional programs, short-term training, distance education, non-credit training, and most community colleges.

Overall, total 2021 enrollment is 211,954, compared to 207,305 in 2020. Measures are taken at the third week of the fall semester for full-time institutions and technical colleges are measured at the end of the fiscal quarter.

The most enrollment can be seen in technical colleges, with most schools reporting over double-digit percentage growth. Southwest Technical College reported the highest increase at 20.65%, followed by Uintah Basin Technical College with 17.71% and Dixie Technical College with 14.49%.

Schools that saw the least growth are Weber State University with 0.50%, Utah Valley University with 0.81%, and Dixie State University with 1.85%. Institutions that reported enrollment declines are Davis Technical College with -5.16%, Utah State University with -0.96%, and Salt Lake Community College with -0.25%.

USHE says they hope to gain a more holistic picture of enrollment by including all schools in future reports.

“We’ve come out of a challenging year, and I am pleased that enrollments have increased overall,” said Dave R. Woolstenhulme, Commissioner of Higher Education. “It is imperative that we continue to work with students statewide to access and complete higher education to provide a qualified workforce, and beyond that, to achieve continued individual and statewide success.”

To check out the full annual report, click here.

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