More CU seniors are opting to stay in school after they graduate.
The Council of Graduate Schools has released its annual survey of graduate enrollment and degrees, which said that U.S. graduate school enrollment for fall 2008 was up by 4.5 percent from fall 2007. The increase stood at 7 percent for private institutions and 2 percent for public universities like CU. In comparison, according to the 2008 to 2009 CU Boulder Diversity Report, graduate enrollment for 2008 was at 4,62
9, a 2.4 percent increase from 2007.
The 2009 total graduate enrollment has increased by 159 students, or a 3.4 percent increase since 2008. National statistics are not yet available for 2009.
“A key part of the Flagship 2030 Strategic Plan is to increase opportunities for post-baccalaureate education and graduate student enrollment,” said John Stevenson, dean of the Graduate School at CU, in a press release. “These numbers show we’re making progress toward that goal.”
The major concepts behind Flagship 2030 reflect “a strong commitment to serving the needs of Colorado while simultaneously becoming a global presence in education and discovery for the benefit of the larger world,” according to the Flagship 2030 Web site.
There are many reasons to be a graduate student.
“The general motivation is to teach as a tenure-track profession,” said Lori Lee Wallace, a graduate theater major. “A general concern is that there are so many grad students that we won’t be guaranteed one.”
For students not receiving aid from the university, money is an issue.
“A general hope is that the economy will have reformed by the time we get out of school,” Wallace said. “Obama is trying to reform student loan payoff, so the interest rates might be minimized.”
Many graduate students have the option of being a teaching or research assistant, and that has the potential to give a tuition waiver or provide a salary.
Undergraduate students at the university have also taken notice of the graduate student changes.
“It think the university is enrolling more students for the increased revenue and more students are applying because of the economic recession,” said Spencer Watson, a senior molecular biology and English literature major.
However the economy hasn’t pushed all students to stay in school.
“When the economy tanked, it made you realize that if you have a job, you hold onto it,” said Joe Newhall, a graduate math major. “I have a job lined up and for me, it almost drove me out of grad school. That job may not be there for me when I get out.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jesse Flint at Jesse.firstname.lastname@example.org.