Enrollment for fall 2018 at Fort Lewis College came in at 3,317 students, which is two students fewer than fall 2017 – a number the school sees as stabilization after several years of larger enrollment drops.
Also, fall 2018 enrollment marks the first year FLC’s student body is more than 50 percent students of color. The largest ethnic group at FLC is Native American and Alaska Natives at 37.8 percent of the total student body.
Native Americans receive a tuition waiver to attend FLC. The state of Colorado pays for their tuition.
Fall 2017 enrollment of 3,319 was a 269-student drop from fall 2016.
“I’m grateful to the staff and faculty who worked so hard to turn our enrollment outlook around. They absolutely knocked it out of the park,” FLC President Tom Stritikus said in a news release.
College officials made a concerted effort to bring in more students to visit the campus and they revamped the visits. Faculty members also were engaged, calling students and their parents in an effort to entice them to enroll.
In early 2018, the FLC Budget Advisory Committee studied enrollment projections and estimated a 9.6 percent decline for fall 2018 and established a budget based upon the anticipated drop.
With higher-than-expected enrollment numbers, the college’s financial position is better than budgeted, with a surplus of more than $550,000.
This amount is different than an August estimate because of a higher number of students qualifying for the Native American tuition waiver. Waiver funding for students enrolled in 2018 will come to FLC in 2019. The Budget Advisory Committee will advise the president on the best use of those extra funds.
FLC spokesman Mitch Davis said college officials are encouraged by the number of first-time college students this year. For fall 2018, 754 students at FLC are on a college campus for the first time, up from 705 in fall 2017.
Transfer student enrollment came in at 323, one fewer than last year.
The preliminary first- to second-year retention rate also increased to 61.9 percent, up from 58.8 percent in fall 2017. This latest rate essentially matches the 62 percent average over the last five years.
Fort Lewis’ graduate enrollment increased to 47 students, up from 32 students in 2017. The School of Education introduced a new Master of Arts in Education: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education for the fall semester.
The top five majors at Fort Lewis College for fall 2018 are:
Business administration – 319, down 8.9 percent from fall 2017.Exercise science – 274, up 2.2 percent from fall 2017.Engineering – 266, up 11.3 percent from fall 2017.Biology – 252, up 8.6 percent from fall 2017.Psychology – 235, down 8.9 percent from last year.Universities and colleges across the country are struggling with a declining number of high school graduates nationwide.The U.S. high school class of 2013, public and private, was about 3.47 million, according to a report from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The nation’s graduating class is not expected to reach that level again until 2024.However, Colorado has a growing population and is bucking the trend.In 2017, 50,700 students graduated from high schools in Colorado, according to data from the Colorado Department of Education. In 2016, 49,842 students graduated from high schools in the firstname.lastname@example.org