Utah’s public colleges and universities have seen enrollment hold steady as fall classes start amid the coronavirus pandemic. Nationwide, higher education institutions saw a 2.5 percent decline in enrollment while the decline in Utah was only two-tenths of a percentage point from fall 2019.
The total fall number of students at Utah’s six universities and two colleges was 189,021, down slightly from fall 2019, when the enrollment was 189,035.
Dave Woolstenhulme, Utah’s Commissioner of Higher Education, said in a statement that he is “optimistic that college enrollments across the system have held steady despite the coronavirus pandemic.” Future graduates of Utah’s public colleges and universities “will have a positive ripple effect across the state and country as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19,” he said.
Southern Utah University experienced a 12.1 percent increase in year-over-year enrollment, followed by Snow College and Dixie State University, which had 7.7 percent and 7.6 percent increases, respectively. The University of Utah, Dixie State University and Snow College all saw student numbers increase, with all three showing record-high enrollment.
Salt Lake Community College, after a robust summer term, had a 7.5 percent drop in enrollment this fall compared to a year ago while Utah Valley University, while Utah State University and Weber State University also saw slight decreases.