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The College of Idaho sets record for largest incoming class in school history

September 19, 2019

The final numbers are in and have been checked. The 2019 incoming class at The College of Idaho is officially the largest in the history of the College, and not by a small margin.

There are 406 total new students on campus this fall, which includes 361 incoming freshmen and 45 transfer students. The previous high-water marks for enrollment both came in 2013, when the College welcomed 355 total students, 291 of which were freshmen. The previous overall record was broken by more than 50 students, and the new freshman mark eclipsed the former record by 70 students.

“Not only did we grow our freshman class, but we grew our students from Idaho, we grew the number of female students, we grew the number of students from the Boise high schools, we grew the number of international students,” Vice President of Enrollment Management Brian Bava said. “All that growth in key populations for us is really important.”

It marks the fourth-straight year the total number of new enrollments has increased from the previous year. Bava said these kinds of jumps – the school enrolled 334 new students last fall – is unlikely to continue. The College will be strategic about its growth going forward in order to maintain the core values of the school. However, he noted that this year’s incoming class didn’t compromise anything that is important to the College.

“We were able to maintain the quality of the class. In fact, maybe even exceed the quality as far as high school GPA (grade point average) is concerned, which is very difficult to do,” Bava said. “The message of The College of Idaho is really resonating with students and the opportunity to be successful here, to be well taken care of, to have great opportunities after they graduate, those are things that are really important for young people and for parents.”

The average GPA for incoming high school students was a 3.75 and nearly a quarter of the group ranked in the top ten of their graduating class. Twelve were ranked no. 1 in their high school class. Along with the increase in female students (206 vs. 174 last fall) and enrollees from high schools in Boise (nearly double that of last fall), the College welcomed 77 new international students from 45 different countries. The College of Idaho is now home to nearly 180 international students from nearly 90 countries.

Bava said it was the work of many – from the admissions department to the financial aid department to the visit center on campus and many, many more – that made this possible before noting that the team has already shifted its sight to the incoming class of 2020, traveling to schools, visiting college fairs, and talking to high school counselors.

The College of Idaho has a 128-year-old legacy of excellence. The College is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit