Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

The C of I enrollment breaks record for second year

2009. 09. 30.

CALDWELL – For the third year in a row, The College of Idaho has enrolled one of its largest freshman classes and the college is the largest it's ever been, according to enrollment figures released today.

The college has 356 new students, including freshman and transfers, an increase of 8.9 percent over last year. There are 1,013 total students this year, an increase of 7.3 percent.

Last year, The C of I enrolled 327 new students, including freshman and transfers, and had 944 total students. Before fall 2008, the largest the school had ever been was 940 students in 1971.

"The College of Idaho has always provided a high quality, personalized education to its students," said President Marv Henberg. "We have the highest graduation rate in Idaho and are nationally recognized as one of the best colleges of our kind in the West."

The personalized education is what helped alumna Kristine Tompkins when she was a student at The C of I.

"I would not have made it through college unless I was at a small school," said Tompkins, renowned conservationist and co-founder of Patagonia, Inc., who was on campus Monday to receive an honorary degree. "If I can talk one-on-one or one-on-two, I can learn anything. In larger classrooms, I check out and can't learn anything."

Tompkins, who graduated from The C of I in 1972, co-founded Patagonia the following year. In 1993, Kris retired as chief executive officer of Patagonia and moved with her husband Doug Tompkins, founder of the North Face and Esprit, to southern Chile.

International students have come to The C of I in increasing numbers since 2005 when there were approximately 13 international students on campus.

Now there are approximately 80 international students from 40 countries. Of those, 38 are Davis Scholars. The Davis Scholars Program is an external scholarship program for United World College graduates.

"Students need to learn about other cultures and nations to better understand how the world is shaped on a day-to-day basis," said Brian Bava, admission director at the college. "An international population of this size has a tremendous impact at a small college like The C of I. Small classes that include 6, 8, or even 10 nations represented have a totally different focus than many of the homogenous classrooms found in other institutions within the state."

Misha Datta, a junior from India and Bahrain, has attended The C of I as a Davis Scholar since her freshman year and said the college's size is welcoming for international students.

"The accessibility to teachers and other people is good, you don't have to be apprehensive about approaching people," she said. "That's especially important to international students to have that comfort."