Students walk along the pedestrian spine on a sunny fall day, with Columbine Hall in the background. Photo by Tom Kimmell

Student enrollment at UCCS this fall is the largest in campus history.

The Office of Institutional Research at the  University of Colorado at Colorado Springs estimates that UCCS enrollment will be 9,850 on-campus students — up 6 percent from a year ago.

In fall 2011, 9,321 students enrolled in on-campus courses. An estimated 2,000 additional students enroll in online and extended studies courses offered by the university.

“While preliminary, these figures demonstrate that more southern Colorado residents are recognizing that higher education is the pathway to personal and professional success,” said UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak.

Early enrollment reports also show a record-breaking number of freshmen students enrolled this fall. The UCCS freshman class has 1,457 students, a 105 student or almost 8 percent increase from last’s year’s record-breaking freshman class of 1,352.

In the last 10 years, UCCS enrollment has increased by more than 32 percent. For the fall 2002 semester, UCCS enrolled 7,446 students. And, students contribute millions to the local economy. In 2011, student spending was estimated at $46.8 million.

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UCCS classes began Aug. 20. Official enrollment reports providing a complete breakdown of enrollment including enrollment by college and the number of credit hours in which students enrolled will be available after Sept. 10.