Boise State University’s overall fall enrollment has reached another new record of 25,540 students, an increase of 5.7 percent over last year.
Boise State welcomed the largest first-year class in school history for the third year in a row — there are 2,884 first-time students enrolled at Boise State this year, up 3.4 percent from last year. Idaho residents in the class increased by 3.7 percent, and out-of-state students increased by 3 percent.
Included in the total are 2,287 students pursuing master’s degrees and 350 pursuing doctoral degrees.
“At Boise State, we strive to provide a signature undergraduate education, world-class research and graduate studies, and the kind of community connections, partnerships and leadership opportunities that can only exist in a metropolitan doctoral university in such a thriving city,” said Interim President Martin Schimpf. “It is gratifying to know that more Idaho high school graduates continue to choose Boise State, and that students and their families from around the West and beyond see our campus as a safe, welcoming and engaging academic home.”
Boise State is growing in more ways than the residential student body, though the increasing numbers of students are living on and immediately adjacent to campus is the most visibly noticeable change to Boise residents.
Much of the university’s overall increase is due to continued growth in the number of Idaho high school students taking advantage of low-cost concurrent enrollment classes — a proven way to get a head start on college and to increase a student’s likelihood to stay in school and earn a degree. This year, 5,261 are enrolled in these college-level courses through Boise State — a more than 83 percent increase over the past five years. The state and its universities subsidize the cost of these credits as part of the overall effort to ensure that 60 percent of Idahoans between the ages of 25 and 35 have college degrees or certificates.
Boise State offers more than 40 degrees and certificates entirely online, and that number continues to grow. This fall, 2,184 undergraduates are taking their courses entirely online, up 86 percent over fall 2014, as are 1,393 graduate students — a 61 percent increase in that five-year time frame. In total, 36 percent of undergraduates and 43 percent of graduate students are taking at least one course online.
Overall, degree-seeking undergraduate enrollment is up 1.6 percent and degree-seeking graduate school enrollment is up 4.1 percent.
New transfer students are up 2.2 percent over last year, a sign that efforts have been working to encourage this transition from the College of Western Idaho and other two-year schools to a four-year degree. Boise State’s first-to-second year retention rate also has increased to 80 percent.