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Weber reaches record enrollment numbers

Students sit in Shepard Union as they take a break to eat lunch and study together.

Weber State University hit an all-time high for enrollment this past fall semester and the numbers have only been climbing.

“I think that it’s a huge milestone for us,” Jessica Oyler of Student Access and Success said. “This fall, we saw growth for the first time in at least five years.”

Oyler attributes this success to new efforts in making student navigation easier at Weber State. One of the tools implemented is an automated chatbot and text system. This system gives students reminders about enrollment, tuition, FAFSA and more.

“​​A lot of national data is showing the impact that has on students,” Oyler said.

She also mentioned seeing students respond to messages about things like plateaued tuition rates — tuition being the same whether students take 12 or 18 credit hours — by enrolling in more classes.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to track some of that outreach,” she said. “It feels like our efforts for both recruitment and retention are really starting to make a difference.”

Oyler also mentioned expanding learning communities and revising some classes to better benefit students. Her team worked on Math 1035, designed to help students knock out most of their math requirements in just one class.

“I’m even more excited about our spring numbers, because it’s showing us that we have new levels of growth,” Oyler said, “This year, we’ve had higher year-over-year growth for spring than we’ve probably ever had.”

Another factor contributing to Weber State’s growing numbers is the collaboration with high school administrators regarding Concurrent Enrollment.

“One of our goals is to meet with at least all of the seniors and we started doing some outreach to junior highs and stuff as well,” Oyler said.

Almost 20% of students in concurrent enrollment enroll at Weber State University following May graduation, not including those students who may leave on church missions right out of high school.

Oyler even mentioned efforts to better track the enrollment of students who had gone on missions or taken a gap year. Counting returned missionaries, university enrollment following concurrent enrollment may be even higher.

Student Access and Success has been working hard to see these results and Oyler is excited to see their efforts bring growth to Weber State.

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McKinna Baird, News reporter

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