Growth slows for PSU

Portland State’s urban campus continues to attract new students in droves, but growth may have slowed a bit compared to the enrollment booms of recent years, according to an Oregon University System (OUS) report issued yesterday.

The report, which will be presented to the state Board of Higher Education at a meeting today, puts PSU’s fourth week fall term enrollment at 23,486, an increase of 1.6 percent over fall 2003. However, the university projects that enrollment may continue to climb towards 24,500 by the term’s end, due to intensive and short-course offerings that were not counted in the report.

The past decade has been one of rapid growth for PSU. Since fall of 1994 the university has grown by 9,043 students, or 61 percent. In that same time period, total OUS enrollment grew by 31 percent. In June, PSU had a record graduating class, when approximately 4,300 students received degrees.

Minority and graduate students accounted for the largest areas of growth at the university. Hispanic enrollment increased 11.2 percent and Native American enrollment by 7.6 percent. Students seeking master’s degrees increased by 5.2 percent and doctoral students increased by 7.3 percent.

Overall, PSU’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning projects that enrollment at the university, already Oregon’s largest, could reach 35,000 by 2012.

The entire Oregon University System saw a slight enrollment increase this year, growing 0.6 percent to a total of 80,066 students. Two universities, Southern Oregon University and Western Oregon University, both saw a decline in their enrollments.