June 20, 2024

Looking back over 80 years of enrollment changes at USU Eastern

Graph from an Oct. 18, 1990, edition of The Eagle highlighting enrollment numbers.

Cody Phelps managing editor

Utah State University Eastern has gone through a multitude of changes over the 80-plus years of the institution, but one of the biggest fluctuating changes is the student enrollment numbers.

         Enrollment at USU Eastern has been in decline since the merger with Utah State University in 2010, but enrollment has had issues and major fluctuations since the inception of the College of Eastern Utah [USU Eastern].

         At the lowest, enrollment was in the double digits, the institution was in the teens during WWII. At the highest, CEU was larger than Dixie State University, Snow College and Southern Utah University. According to a 1990 edition of The Eagle newspaper, CEU had an FTE of 2,960, while Dixie had 2,380. Times have changed as Dixie currently sits at 8,993 FTE enrolled students, beating out USU Eastern by over 7,000 enrolled students.

           Low enrollment numbers aren’t a new concern for the USU Eastern community. In the archives, A copy of the CEU Eagle from 1973 shows a front-page story about the decline in full-time enrollment.

          Enrollment has been covered by the media outlets of USU Eastern consistently since 2013. Each semester, at least one edition of the Eagle has featured a spotlight on enrollment, showing the highs and lows of the institution.

         There will always be an adjustment period for any major change, but USU Eastern is nearing the 10-year anniversary of the merger between Utah State University and CEU. However, there are new plans, procedures and people being put into place to ensure the growth of student headcount, said President Noelle Cockett at the meeting she’s held each year on the Eastern campus