OSU-Cascades enrollment shows record increase in new first-year students

Angel Ruvalcaba, a lifelong Central Oregonian, is a first-generation college student and one of the 204 first-year students at OSU-Cascades this fall.
Nov. 9, 2022

The 2022 fall class of 204 first-year students at Oregon State University - Cascades is the largest in the campus’s history and represents a 16.6% increase from a year ago.

OSU-Cascades students also are taking more courses than in fall 2021. Full-time equivalency, the metric used to measure the number of academic credits taken per student, increased by 9.8% from a year ago.

The Bend campus now enrolls 1,271 students, including 1,040 undergraduates and 231 graduate students. The total number of students enrolled at OSU-Cascades this fall increased 1.9% over the previous year.

OSU-Cascades’ fall enrollment bucks a nationwide trend where four-year institutions have experienced a two-year decline in undergraduate enrollment according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

“OSU-Cascades’ steady, sustainable enrollment growth, as well as students’ steadfast pursuit of their degrees by taking more courses, demonstrates growing confidence in OSU-Cascades’ academic and student life offerings and in its ability to prepare students to launch successful future careers,” said Andrew Ketsdever, interim vice president of OSU-Cascades.

Enrollment growth at OSU-Cascades mirrors overall enrollment growth throughout Oregon State University, which increased 3.3% this fall to a record 35,239 students, up 1,131 students over last year. OSU is the largest university in the state for the ninth consecutive year with students learning in Corvallis, Bend, Portland, Newport, La Grande and through the university’s nationally ranked online Ecampus degree program. More information about Oregon State’s overall fall enrollment is available at https://beav.es/5YL.

Forty-five percent of OSU-Cascades students this fall are from Central Oregon and 77.8% are from Oregon. Students from out-of-state increased 24.2% from a year ago. In addition, students from seven other countries are enrolled.

There are 268 students of color at OSU-Cascades making up 21.1% of the student body. Over the past five years, enrollment among students of color has increased 4%.

Of this fall’s class of 204 first-year students entering OSU-Cascades from high school, 76% are from Oregon and 28% are students of color. Of these students, 74.1%, live in the on-campus residence hall.

Fifteen percent of first-year students came to OSU-Cascades with enough college credit to enter at the sophomore or junior level, while 59% earned some college credits while in high school. The average unweighted high school GPA of the new freshman class increased from 3.57 to 3.59, with 39% of first-year students having a high school GPA of 3.75 or higher.

Twenty-nine percent of this year’s first year students are first generation college students.

Of 476 transfer students at OSU-Cascades, 65% are from Central Oregon, with 51% transferring from Central Oregon Community College.

A lifelong Central Oregonian, first-year student Angel Ruvalcaba was born in Madras and grew up in Redmond. As he excelled in school, his parents set college as an expectation. An in-home health care worker originally from Mexico, his mother saw firsthand the difference a bachelor’s degree could make in someone’s life.

Today, Ruvalcaba is participating in OSU-Cascades’ TRIO program as a first-generation college student and is learning about opportunities and services available through OSU. He is also participating in OSU-Cascades’ degree partnership program with Central Oregon Community College and has earned scholarships and grants.

“My parents are proud, but they still have high expectations for me,” he said.

He believes his courses will help him realize his dream of owning a video gaming company.

“Video gaming brings together all of the things I love – story writing, art, graphic design, cinematography, music,” he said. “I’m excited about the future and learning more about all of these areas.”

In total, 136 undergraduate students are participating in the TRIO program at OSU-Cascades.

OSU-Cascades’ undergraduate engineering science program, launched in 2021, now has 32 students, while enrollment in an outdoor products program, launched in 2020, has grew to 63 students. Enrollment in an undergraduate teaching program, also offered starting in 2020, has grown to 62 students.

Sixteen undergraduate OSU-Cascades students are enrolled in the OSU Honors College, a program for students working toward an Honors Baccalaureate degree in their academic major. The Honors College offers students personal advising as well as research and involvement opportunities.

OSU-Cascades’ Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which was launched in 2021, now enrolls 87 students and is the campus’s largest graduate student program. The graduate counseling degree program has 63 students. Twenty-six students are enrolled in the Master of Arts in teaching program. The low-residency Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program has 19 students.

Seventy-four students receiving veterans’ benefits are enrolled at OSU-Cascades. 

The youngest enrolled student at OSU-Cascades is 17 and the oldest is 79. The average age of an undergraduate student is 23. The average age of a graduate student is 31.

More information about OSU-Cascades fall enrollment is available at osucascades.edu/about/fall-enrollment.

About OSU-Cascades:  Oregon State University’s campus in Bend brings higher education to Central Oregon, the fastest growing region in the state. Surrounded by 2.5 million acres of mountains and high desert, OSU-Cascades offers small classes that accelerate faculty-student mentoring and engages in top tier research as part of Oregon State University. Degree programs meet industry and economic needs in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship, natural ecosystems, health and wellness, and arts and sciences, and prepare students for tomorrow’s challenges. OSU-Cascades is expanding to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students, building a 128-acre campus with net-zero goals.