“A few factors may be impacting enrollment. After years of record enrollment growth and the effects of the recession on state budgets, some institutions are at or near capacity—making it difficult for some students to obtain classes. Several institutions have raised academic standards for admission, and with the economy improving, more people are returning to full-time employment,” said Commissioner of Higher Education, Dave Buhler. “To reach Utah’s ‘Big goal’ of 66 percent of adults with a college certificate or degree, we will need more students to enroll and complete their education,” Buhler added.
Total budget-related FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) approximates the number of students enrolled full-time (15 semester hours for undergraduate students; 10 semester hours for graduate students) each semester. That number totaled 110,760 in the fall of 2012, compared to 110,798 in the fall of 2011. Headcount includes all students enrolled at an institution.
Additionally, particularly at institutions with a community college role, USHE serves several thousand students in non-traditional programs, which are not budget-related, do not receive any taxpayer support, and are not included in the third week totals. These include short-term training programs and non-credit technical training. USHE institutions also serve over 30,000 high school students in concurrent enrollment. It is also important to note that some students enroll in programs that begin after the third-week enrollment census is taken. To provide a more complete picture of fall enrollments, final numbers will be released when available. Some institutions have a large number of part-time students, which accounts for the difference between their FTE and headcount.