UO celebrates growth in new students and Pathway participants

First published in Around the O on September 26, 2018. A record number of University of Oregon’s first-year students will benefit from the PathwayOregon scholarship program this fall as the Division of Student Services and Enrollment Management announces 8 percent overall growth in the institution’s incoming class.

Preliminary figures indicate that the number of first-year students at the UO stands at 4,203, up from 3,901 incoming students last year. Final enrollment numbers will not be available until later in October.

“This is just an amazing incoming class, among the largest, most diverse and academically gifted that the University of Oregon has ever seen,” said Roger Thompson, vice president of student services and enrollment management. “More importantly, this class speaks to the University of Oregon’s clear commitment to providing access to Oregonians in need. This is the largest PathwayOregon class ever and represents a doubling of the program’s enrollment since 2013.”

More than 800 of the incoming first-year students are enrolled in PathwayOregon, the 10-year-old scholarship program that covers tuition and fees for qualified, Pell Grant-eligible resident freshmen. That is an increase of more than 14 percent over the previous year.

PathwayOregon also provides wrap-around student support services and best-in-class advising that have helped boost graduation rates at the UO. To date, more 5,000 students have received a free education thanks to the program.

In addition, this first-year class is the most diverse in terms of a race and ethnicity. Thompson notes that 36 percent of the fall 2018 entering class is domestic minorities, a UO record. As is the case with many universities across the country, UO’s new international student population has decreased. International enrollments accounts for about 4 percent of the incoming class, down from 6 percent.

Some trends also mean the traditional “freshman” label may not apply to some of the UO’s new students, Thompson said.

“We are noticing that an increasing number of our freshmen are electing to start in the summer, both on campus and in our London program we started a few years ago,” he said. “Further, many recent high school graduates have enough college credits to start at the UO as sophomores, so we are changing our language to reflect an ‘entering class’ as opposed to a freshmen class.” 

Other numbers show:

  • Average high school GPA was 3.59, just shy of the record of 3.61.
  • Average SAT scores held relatively steady at 1195 from a high of 1196.
  • Resident Oregonians represent 51 percent of the new student population.
  • Nonresidents are 45 percent of the new student population.
  • Including transfer students, there are a total of 5,378 new students at the UO, an increase of 5 percent over last year.

“These increases and successes in our entering class are only made possible by the hard work of hundreds of hardworking Ducks across campus,” Thompson said. “From everyone involved in recruitment to the faculty members who give their time to inspire prospective students to those who make our beautiful campus shine during campus visits, we thank you for all you do every day.”