SALT LAKE CITY The head count at the state’s public colleges and universities exceeded 180,000 students this fall, a systemwide increase of 2.78 percent over the previous year, according to figures released by the Utah System of Higher Education on Wednesday.

The number of students at the state institutions increased by 4,869 students. The growth comes on top of a like increase in head count of 4,739 a year ago.

The new enrollment figures also indicate that more Utah students are attending college full time, which higher education officials say is a key factor in timely completion of degrees.

Nearly half of the new head count can be attributed to a 6.5 percent increase in students attending Utah Valley University. The number of UVU students is 37,282, the highest among the state’s colleges and universities for three years running.

“This growth shows UVU’s responsiveness to the increasing population of Utah County, but that’s only part of the story,” UVU President Matthew S. Holland said in a statement.

“We take these numbers as a testament of our ability to meet the growing needs of our service region and the success of our dual-model mission and focus on engaged learning.”

Weber State University’s head count increased by 1,140 students to 27,949, or an increase of 4.25 percent from the previous year.

Dixie State University had the highest percentage of growth in head count, with a 7.56 percent increase over the previous year. Head count for the St. George university climbed to 8,993 this fall, which was slightly higher than Southern Utah University at 8,955, although SUU had a 5.73 percent increase in head count from a year ago.

At the University of Utah, the state’s flagship institution, head count was 32,061 this fall, followed by Salt Lake Community College, which has 29,901 students.

At Snow College, enrollment climbed to 5,563, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

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