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Oregon's Biggest Universities Get Bigger, More Diverse


Oregon’s universities are getting larger and more diverse, according to new enrollment numbers out Monday.

Oregon State remains the biggest university, with 31,904 students. Three quarters of the students are at the university’s main campus in Corvallis, with the rest online or at the smaller branches.

OSU said it’s attracting more students of color and high school graduates who are the first in their family to go to college.

“Oregon State is achieving excellence through inclusivity,” president Ed Ray said in a statement. 

Portland State University also announced it’s grown to more than 27,305 students, boosted by its biggest freshman class ever: more than 2,000 students.

Vice President of Enrollment and Student Affairs John Fraire said the urban university is drawing more students from the Portland area.

“The growth we have in the freshman class is primarily residents of Oregon,” Fraire said.

PSU officials noted that nearly 500 of the school’s freshmen are part of their “four years free” program, which is designed for students with good grades and limited family incomes.

PSU said its Hispanic enrollment is also growing, with 12 percent more students enrolling in fall 2017 than a year ago.

University of Oregon is not growing like PSU and OSU. Instead UO saw its enrollment shrink almost 2.8 percent from 2016 to 2017. But, it has become slightly more diverse in the past year, according to figures the university provided.

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