Private colleges hit record breaking enrollment

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon Foundation,

Private universities in Portland are seeing an increase in enrollment this year, possibly because people are tired of sitting at home and yearning to learn in classrooms on campuses. Some of those registering this year deferred enrollment in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to NPR, private colleges saw a dip in enrollment last year, but many managed to maintain in-person classes while most public universities switched to remote learning.

At Lewis & Clark, enrollment in 2020 dropped by about 100 students over the previous year, but this fall’s numbers at the College of Arts and Sciences show a record enrollment of more than 700 students. The previous record of 654 was set in 2015. The college also is seeing its largest contingent of students of color—about 28 percent of the total, according to NPR.

The University of Portland is seeing fall enrollment up by about 150 students—957 this year compared with 809 in 2020.

At Reed College, the fall enrollment of more than 500 first-year students far surpasses the 340 enrolled a year ago—and it’s the largest class of domestic students of color, according to school officials.

Enrollment numbers at public universities won’t be available for a month or so.