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Enrollment exceeds 12,000 at UI

Overall student enrollment at the University of Idaho is up 2.4 percent for fall 2017, bringing total enrollment across all UI campuses above 12,000 for the first time in five years, according to a press release from the school.

The total 12,072 students falls short of a goal to increase enrollment by 5 percent each year, but UI Communications Director Jodi Walker said the university is moving in the right direction.

“While we didn’t quite meet that 5 percent, we’re excited by the 2.4,” Walker said.

The total includes 1,997 dual-credit high school students, many of whom are enrolled in one or more UI classes online. Dual-credit enrollment increased 23 percent over 2016.

Overall resident enrollment is up 3.9 percent from 2016 to 8,910.

“These enrollment increases show that we are taking seriously our mission to educate the people of Idaho,” UI President Chuck Staben said in a news release. “We are engaging high school students and showing them a path forward to higher education. Meanwhile, the strength of our academic programs and the vitality of our campus is attracting students from our Idaho core while we find ways to increase accessibility to our region.”

The university also saw an increase in several minority student groups. Hispanic undergraduate enrollment increased 9.1 percent to 1,180, and Native American undergraduate enrollment increased 2 percent to 52.

International student enrollment increased 7.3 percent from last year to 710 students, not quite making up for a 10.5 percent decline from 2015 to 2016. The UI is still in the first year of its partnership with the global higher education organization Navitas to increase international student enrollment.

“Increasing our international reach is important to all our students as it makes the learning environment at U of I more diverse and enriching,” Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management Dean Kahler said in a news release. “Those new students recognize the high academic quality and value that the University of Idaho offers and we are delighted to see the increases.”

Last year, enrollment increased by 3.6 percent, the first overall student enrollment increase since 2012.

Staben has had a goal of increasing enrollment 50 percent by 2024 since he took office in March 2014.

He is currently one of five finalists for a president position at the University of New Mexico.