Idaho colleges and universities see huge increase in applicants, admissions

Idaho colleges and universities see huge increase in applicants, admissions

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by Natalie Podgorski

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 31, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 31 at 8:29 PM

BOISE -- It is the time of year when high school seniors start making more trips to the mailbox, eager to see if their college acceptance letters have arrived.

Of course, before students can get those letters, they must apply.

Colleges and universities across the state of Idaho say they are seeing a record number of applicants.  One school even saw their numbers double.

Applications are still pouring in, but it appears becoming an Idaho Vandal is a common goal among high school seniors.

"Our undergraduate applications are up 50 percent at this point," said Steve Neiheisel with the University of Idaho.

The number of aspiring Boise State Broncos are up as well.

"We've seen each year a several percentage increase in students.  But to have a jump of this large of a magnitude of almost 25 percent, I mean 23 percent is a huge for us." said Niki Callison, with Boise State University admissions.

Both the University of Idaho and Boise State say they have never seen increases like this.  It is a record for both schools.  They believe a number of factors helped to fuel the increase in applications.

"Problems in the economy result in higher and higher enrollment. People come back to school, they stay in school, they take double majors, they really try to position themselves better for the workforce," said Neiheisel.

The U of I has doubled the number of applications they received from last year and although a lot of factors play into that, they give credit to aggressive recruiting.

"We initiated an entirely new recruitment effort last fall and on the application side and on the admission side, we believe it's paid some dividends," said Neiheisel.

Both universities say it is not just applications that are increasing, but they are also seeing increases in the number of admitted students.

According to BSU, the higher number of applications does not mean the quality of students applying has gone down. In fact -- they say it has gone up.  Boise State admissions says it is seeing more students apply who are in the top 10 and 15 percent of their class. 

Both universities have also seen increases in international student applications.

The graduating classes of 2015 may be the biggest either campus has ever seen.

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