Student enrollment at Brigham Young University-Idaho has reached a record high. BYU-Idaho Student Records and Registration offices recently reported an increase in full-time students of more than 5 percent.
In 2001 Ricks College (which was later renamed Brigham Young University-Idaho) had a total student enrollment of 8,862. The university has nearly doubled in size in only 10 years, with total student enrollment of 15,102.
Students at BYU-Idaho said they are excited about the expansion, and the environment on campus has not changed. Heather Nilsen, a junior studying health administration, from Littleton, Colo., said she has been seeing more people on campus, but not in classes.
“My biggest class has 50 students in it,” Nilsen said. “I know other places have hundreds of students in one class.”
Many of the students said they like the smaller class sizes because it gives them more one-on-one time with their professors.
“We want to grow at the right pace,” said Andy Cargal, who is an administrator in University Communications. “Giving the students the best educations possible.”
BYU-Idaho has a plan that will last until 2014, estimating a cap of 15,ooo on-campus students.
“More students are requesting to come to BYU-Idaho,” Cargal said. “We know more students are wanting to get church education.”
International students have tripled in the past 10 years with 433 students coming from 59 different countries. Cargal said the university’s enrollment program is set up to help students come to BYU-Idaho with as many options as possible, including online courses. These options are especially helpful for students who did not have English as their primary language growing up.
“We are growing in a modest and organized fashion,” Cargal said. “So we don’t grow too fast for our students.”
Nilsen said the reason the university is growing is because the students that come to BYU-Idaho have had an experience so they know they need to go to BYU-Idaho. When the church announced Ricks was going to become a university, Nilsen knew that she needed to go there.
“It’s weird, it’s almost like you get a call to come here,” Nilsen said.