Enrollment down, however retention up to highest rate in seven years in fall 2019 enrollment report

Wide shot of 2019 convocation ceremony
Chancellor Reddy addresses new students during the 2019 Convocation ceremony.

Improved retention and the third straight year with more than 12,000 students marked the UCCS fall enrollment data released by the Office of Institutional Research Sept. 13. UCCS enrolled 12,180 students for fall 2019.

The retention rate of 68.3 percent is the best since 2012 and the fourth best since available records go back to 1993. The rate has improved 3.5 percent in the last three years.

Overall enrollment dipped 3.1 percent from the record of 12,574 in fall 2018 while credit hours taken by students only dropped 2.1 percent. The number of credit hours taken in a hybrid format with a combination of online and classroom interaction grew 80 percent to 5,920 hours while online enrollment grew 2.5 percent to 22,009 hours.

The incoming class averaged a higher grade point average than previous years. First year students who initiated the contact with UCCS also enrolled at a higher rate in 2019 compared to previous years, partially as a result of a more diverse marketing strategy.

“Though enrollment is down, I am pleased retention rate has gone up,” said Chancellor Venkat Reddy. “I’m proud of the work of our faculty and staff to provide our students with a rigorous and enriching experience.”

The School of Public Affairs grew 9.7 percent in its enrollment between graduate and undergraduate programs with 769 students enrolled this fall. Graduate student numbers grew in the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences by 6.1 percent and in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences improved by 3.4 percent. The number of doctoral students also moved to an all-time high of 47 students, an improvement of 17.5 percent from last fall.

Undergraduate enrollment in the College of Education improved 7.4 percent and in the College of Business by 0.4 percent. Twenty-two undergraduate degree-granting plans and 17 graduate degree-granting plans experienced growth from 2018. International enrollment also increased to 200 students, up 1.5 percent.

While enrollment reports from other institutions will not be available until October, the 12,180 students at UCCS will likely keep it as the fifth-largest public university in the state behind CU Boulder, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CU Denver and Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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