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Fort Lewis College sees slight bump in enrollment this year

Institution strives for Hispanic serving status after increase in Latinx students
Forty-seven percent of students enrolled at Fort Lewis College this fall are from the state of Colorado. (Durango Herald file)

Fort Lewis College experienced a slight increase in student enrollment this year after seeing a 5.9% decrease in 2022.

Up 1.9% this year, the college’s enrollment totals are at 3,425 students compared to 3,360 last year.

The college’s Hispanic student population reached 15% for the first time, according to a Sept. 20 news release.

“It’s wonderful to see that our efforts are paying off on our dual enrollment,” Jess Savage, dean of Enrollment Management said in the release. “While we’re optimistic about our increased enrollment, we will continue to work to attract students interested in the kind of personalized, hands-on experiential learning FLC has to offer.”

Savage and the college have been trying to strengthen its collaboration with both Durango High School and Animas High School. The college is aiming to become a “Hispanic Serving Institution” in the coming years.

The U.S. Department of Education defines a Hispanic serving institution as having an undergraduate Hispanic population of 25% or more.

“The diversity of our student body is still one of our hallmarks. Just last week, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the first fiesta organized by El Centro de Muchos Colores, our Latinx student organization,” FLC President Tom Stritikus said in the release. “It’s exciting to be marking this anniversary as we reach an important milestone in our Latinx population.”

Despite overall gains in enrollment, the number of degree-seeking students fell 0.8% from the previous year, and the first-year class was slightly smaller than last year’s class.

The college’s population of Colorado students is at 47%, up slightly from 43% last year. The college reports that 44% of the students are first-generation, meaning their parents did not complete a four-year degree.


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