Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities are experiencing the largest increase in the number of first-time freshmen enrolling in a spring semester and have set another record in total enrollment.
Figures released by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in the spring 2010 Preliminary Enrollment Report for Oklahoma Higher Education show that the number of first-time freshmen increased 31.7 percent compared to the same time last year. A total of 10,622 first-time freshmen have enrolled in classes this spring, 2,558 more than spring 2009.
Community colleges saw the largest increase at 35 percent, from 6,708 to 9,057 first-time freshmen. The state’s research universities increased 10.3 percent from 126 to 139, and regional universities increased 15.9 percent, from 1,230 to 1,426 first-time freshmen.
“These increased enrollment numbers are a leading indicator of the value placed on earning a college degree by students and parents in our state,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “It is widely recognized that a college degree is essential to a student’s financial and career success, and it remains the driving force behind our state’s economic recovery.”
The preliminary enrollment report revealed that the total headcount is up 6.8 percent compared to the same time last year. A total of 178,053 students have enrolled in classes this spring, 11,269 more than in spring 2009.
The state’s community colleges experienced the largest percentage increase among the three tiers at 11.5 percent, or 7,580 students.
Seven of the 12 community colleges saw double-digit increases in total headcount for spring 2010. The headcount at Murray State College, Tishomingo, increased 32.7 percent, while Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Miami, increased 21.2 percent. Western Oklahoma State College, Altus, increased 18.1 percent, and Seminole State College increased 18 percent. Eastern Oklahoma State College, Wilburton, and Rose State College, Midwest City, increased 12.6 percent, and Tulsa Community College increased 10.6 percent.
Oklahoma’s regional universities saw an overall increase of 6.6 percent in total headcount. Cameron University, Lawton, leads the group, with a 13.5 percent increase, followed by Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Goodwell, with 11.5 percent, and Rogers State University, Claremore, with 9 percent. Nearly all of the regional universities reported increases in total headcount.
The state’s research universities saw an overall increase of 0.7 percent in total headcount. The University of Oklahoma system had an enrollment of 28,726 students, with the Norman campus having the most students enrolled. The Oklahoma State University system had an enrollment of 31,812 students, with the Stillwater campus having the most students enrolled. However, the OSU-Oklahoma City campus saw the greatest increase at 20.5 percent.
The report shows the top five institutions in total headcount this spring are OU (Norman campus), 24,360 students; OSU (Stillwater campus), 21,165; TCC, 18,929; UCO, 15,104; and OCCC, 14,019.