(Ashland, Ore.) — For the second year in a row, Southern Oregon University’s fall enrollment has increased over the previous year. Fall 2015 enrollment data certified this week by the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission indicate that enrollment climbed to 6,215 students this fall, a 0.2 percent increase compared to fall 2014.
“Though modest, this increase was achieved while we are operating under a retrenchment plan that projected an enrollment decline this year, so we are thrilled to see enrollment go up for the second year in a row,” said SOU President Roy Saigo. “This illustrates our commitment to educating Oregonians and preparing the next generation of the state’s middle class to enter the workforce.”
One major factor in the University’s enrollment increase is the substantial number of new freshmen attending SOU this fall. The number of first-year students is up 17 percent from last year, constituting the largest freshman class in 12 years.
Other factors include increases in the number of non-resident students, international students, and students of color, which saw increases of 7.4, 4.7, and 7.3 percent, respectively.
Strong retention numbers also contributed to the overall enrollment increase, as 72 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen from fall 2014 were retained to this fall while the retention rate for all admitted undergraduates reached 76 percent from year to year. “These strong retention rates are testament to the hard work of our faculty and staff,” Dr. Saigo said, “and with the commitment to and investment in higher education that the Oregon Legislature made for the next biennium, we will be investing in strategies designed to result in these numbers continuing to grow.”
SOU is now accepting applications for the winter, spring, summer, and fall 2016 terms.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.