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University Enrollment at All-Time High

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EUGENE, Ore. — From craft beers to the gorgeous outdoors, Oregon is known for a lot of things these days.

Thanks to a recent report, it looks like we can add education to that list now, too.

The Oregon University System is reporting record enrollment numbers this year. The OUS report says enrollment is at an all-time high of more than 101,000 students.

Both students and administrators offered plenty of reasons as to why folks seem to be flooding Oregon schools.

The report says Oregon is number one in the nation when it comes to five-year enrollment growth in public post-secondary schools.

Oregon State University added about 1,400 new bodies to campus this year.

“I think that Oregon has some really high quality, well-respected universities and colleges,” Kate Peterson, OSU Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management.

So much so that they’re drawing folks all across the nation and globe. Where the kids come from isn’t the only thing that’s changed.

“The best and the brightest attend Oregon State University. So for example, the over 40 percent of the incoming freshman class had a high school GPA of 3.75 or greater,” Peterson said.

Administrators at OSU aren’t alone when it comes to growing numbers. The UO campus also had a record headcount this year, up about 140. Though not as high as some, the school says that’s just fine.

“So we’re planning on maintaining enrollment at a relatively comfortable level for us and for our students,” said Brian Henley, UO Admissions Director.

So what do those in the classroom think?

“I think the three main things would be academics, sports and just friends in general,” said John Krakowski, a sophomore from California.

And those hoping to get in?

“It’s just a beautiful setting…People here just love their school and I want to go to a school where I can show how much I like it, I guess,” said Illinois resident Maddy Nesbit.

Environment, academics and athletics aside, for some it’s all about tradition.

“My family has been around the University of Oregon and has gone to the University of Oregon in generations past…I didn’t even really need a campus tour. I just knew exactly where I wanted to go at a young age,” said Emilie McGeary, a UO sophomore from Medford.

While Oregon schools are happy for the interest, they all say quality of education is their priority and they’re very conscious of the need to balance the growth with academic learning.

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