The U Accepts a Potentially Larger Freshman Class

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The U Accepts a Potentially Larger Freshman Class

By Angelyn Ramos

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Since the University of Utah joined the Pac-12 conference in 2011, it has been competing with rival schools not only in sports but also academics and undergraduate student population. As of spring 2019, the total student population sat at just over 30,000 students with 23,819 undergraduates. In Fall 2018, 4,256 freshman enrolled at the U. In Fall 2019, the U may potentially have welcomed an even larger freshman class.*

This puts the U’s undergraduate population in close competition with several Pac-12 rivals. As of the Spring 2019 semester, the University of Colorado Boulder had 26,643 undergraduate students, Washington State University had 23,904 and Oregon State University had 23,849. At the U’s 150th commencement ceremony it was announced that 8,465 students would be graduating. With the acceptance of a potentially larger freshman undergraduate class, there is an assurance that the general student population is steadily growing and therefore bringing great benefit to the university and its programs. In addition to funding for the athletic programs from the Pac-12 Conference, the influx of students also means an increase in federal funding from other sources for the already rigorous academia at the U.  

Current U psychology student, Brooke Green, expressed her excitement about a potential growth. “I feel that it’s a pretty great opportunity for those students who were trying to get in,” she said in a text interview on Aug. 25. Anyone who is willing to put in the effort and work deserves an education. It’s kind of cool to know that the U gave out that chance. The U already tries to close the education gap in Utah by offering a wide array of scholarships and openly celebrating student diversity. The increase in incoming pupils is an additional extension of the University’s desire to diversify its student population.”

When Green was asked if she feels the possible increase in student population will adversely or positively affect the school, she said, “I would say it can go both ways. To have a larger student body means the U is providing top education to more students, and this can bring in more funding for the school. The negative aspect is safety concerns, and how could I forget.. [sic] the impossible parking spots. Trying to find parking at the U can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, with a bigger student body, and from what I’ve seen, not many are using tracks [sic]… is the University planning on providing us with more parking space that is already needed?”

While Green did express some concerns she conclusively stated that she is hopeful about the U’s future. “What I ultimately hope comes out of a larger student body is a bigger voice for the U. More diversity, more clubs and more engagement on campus.” 

We have Dan Reed, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Erin Sine, Assistant Director for New Student & Family Programming, as well as their teams to thank for any increase in student numbers. While neither of them were available for an interview, an anonymous employee at the Office of Orientation and Transition had this to say: “Our teams have been working fervently to strategically advertise to current high-school seniors and any other potential first-year students. Not only do we want to just outright advertise the U, but we’ve been working hard to showcase our bountiful student life and our diverse and rigorous academic programs.”

When asked about concerns regarding housing, parking and safety, the employee went on to say that “While I’m not totally sure what plans the U has in the foreseeable future regarding housing and parking […] it is safe to assume that they will go through efforts to increase both of those as the student population increases.”

“In regards to safety, however, the U has been working feverishly at increasing safety measures,” the employee said. “For example, they are introducing the ride-share program this year, which should greatly help safety measures. In addition to that, larger student numbers often mean an increase in safety officers.”

While this could be the largest class ever enrolled, the U has no plans of stopping there. They’re hoping that recently being added to the Common App will begin to exponentially increase student numbers. 

Ultimately the U and its current student body are excited to see what this new class will bring. Not only to student life and demographics but additionally to their academic conversations, athletic programs and hopefully additional national recognition. 

@ChronyAng

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This article, which was printed on Sept. 3 under the title “The U Accepts its Largest Ever Freshman Class,” contained misrepresented information regarding undergraduate class size of the U and other schools. These numbers and the claims to the “largest freshman class” and “largest graduating class” have been clarified, and *this article will be updated again when the official enrollment numbers are available in October. The type of interview conducted with Brooke Green has also been clarified.

We regret these errors.