▶️ OSU Cascades sees spike in applications following low-enrollment year

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Overall applications and admission offers for the fall semester at OSU Cascades are almost double the amount of a typical year, according to Director of Admissions and Recruitment Brittany Preston.

“Announcing that we’re back in person…that created a lot of excitement,” Preston said.

Preston said the spike could be attributed to many different factors, one possibly being this is the first time SAT and ACT scores weren’t required to apply to OSU.

“It’s hard to tell,” Preston said. “Was it COVID? Was it having more time at home and applying to more schools, or was it removing the test?”

Not requiring a test score has also changed how admissions is approaching incoming applications.

“We have always been holistic in our admission, but now we are way more so,” Preston said. “Because we’re not able to pull a test score and pull a GPA, we’re looking at the transcript, we’re looking at the classes we’re taking.”

But Preston said twice the applications won’t mean twice the number of students in the fall.

Right now, they aren’t sure how many students will actually commit to the school, mostly because the metrics they usually use to measure an incoming class size have gone out the window.

“In a typical, non-COVID year, we’re looking at a lot of trends and what we call interactions,” Preston said. “Did they visit campus, did they come to an open house? Usually those are indicators of interest. But when you throw those out, it’s much more difficult.”

Across town, Central Oregon Community College said it’s also seeing a renewed interest following the drop in students it saw throughout the pandemic.

Spokeswoman Jenn Kovitz said she can’t provide exact enrollment numbers yet. She’ll have a better idea of fall enrollment in June.

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