August 3, 2009 — Vol. 25 No. 23
This summer Idaho State University-Idaho Falls has shown a significant rise in students in enrolled for the 2009 fall semester: overall ISU-Idaho Falls enrollment is up 11.2 percent and full-time student enrollment is up 17.1 percent as of July 21.
There are 195 more students enrolled at ISU-Idaho Falls than there were at this same time last year. A total of 1,936 students registered for classes at ISU-Idaho Falls as of July 21.
ISU officials attributed the increase to a variety of reasons.
“A lot more people in this area are realizing what an outstanding opportunity they have right here in town for pursuing a higher education and the cost-savings associated with going to a school close to home,” said Lyle Castle, dean of academic programming at ISU-Idaho Falls.
“The economy is a major factor,” said Ann Howell, director of enrollment management at ISU-Idaho Falls. “There is often an inverse relationship between how well the economy is doing and the numbers of students returning to school. During times of economic downturn many people return to school to retool and pursue more secure vocational options.”
Todd Johnson, assistant director of academic advising at ISU-Idaho Falls, also pointed to the down economy as a major factor for motivating students to go attend school.
“A lot of people are looking for work or are trying to find a more secure position, and there are a lot of young people having trouble finding a job and are opting for school,” Johnson said. “We certainly have a variety of people signing up for classes.”
“I’ve talked to several students,” noted Johnson, “who could have gone other places, some who even had scholarships, who decided to stay home to attend classes because for them ISU Idaho Falls was the less expensive, smarter option.”
Despite state budget cuts to the Idaho State University budget, ISU-Idaho Falls is offering a “very full course schedule,” Castle said, and has maintained its course offerings for core general education courses such as English and math as well as significant offerings in the sciences, such as biology, chemistry geology and physics.
The 2009 fall semester begins Aug. 25, and students can sign up for classes as late as Sept. 8, but students are urged to register as early as possible because some classes and some class sections are filling up.