Enrollment at Utah’s public colleges and universities holds steady despite COVID-19 pandemic

Nearly 190K students enrolled for fall semester 2020

In the first look at Utah college enrollments since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, data from the Utah System of Higher Education shows enrollment at Utah’s public colleges and universities held steady compared to last year, with a slight net decrease.

Systemwide, the total 2020 fall semester headcount is 189,021. Compared to 2019, the total fall headcount slightly decreased by two-tenths of a percentage point overall. 

“I am optimistic that college enrollments across the System have held steady despite the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dave R. Woolstenhulme, Commissioner of Higher Education. “These future graduates will have a positive ripple effect across the state and country as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”

The table below includes the total headcount of all students enrolled at each USHE degree-granting institution.

Fall 2020 3rd-Week Enrollments, Total Headcount
Institution20202019# Change% Change
University of Utah33,08032,8522280.7%
Utah State University27,69127,810-119-0.4%
Weber State University29,59629,644-48-0.2%
Southern Utah University12,58211,2241,35812.1%
Snow College5,8005,3834177.7%
Dixie State University12,04311,1938507.6%
Utah Valley University40,93641,728-792-1.9%
Salt Lake Community College27,29329,517-2,224-7.5%
USHE Total189,021189,351-330-0.2%

See a more detailed look of fall 2020 third-week headcount by award seeking status and student level.

Though the Utah System of Higher Education now includes all public technical colleges in the state, technical colleges do not follow the same semester schedule as the degree-granting institutions above. Quarterly enrollment numbers for USHE technical colleges will be shared in late October. 

Additionally, particularly at institutions with a community college mission, USHE serves several thousand students in non-traditional programs, which are not budget-related, do not receive any taxpayer support, and are not included in the third-week totals. These include short-term training programs, distance education, and non-credit technical training. System leadership is working to present this data in the future for a more holistic picture of enrollment at our institutions. 

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