WWU Enrollment Shows Record Number of Freshman Students; Overall fall enrollment for students of color is the highest ever

  • Western's record freshman class was welcomed to campus with the first annual "Paint Bellingham Blue" event highlighted by a march downtown from Red Square and a fireworks show.

Western Washington University’s fall enrollment figures show that the freshman class is the largest in the history of the university. And overall fall enrollment for students of color is the highest ever at Western.

“Western is excited to welcome our largest freshman class ever, and our most diverse overall fall enrollment. One of our highest priorities has been making Western’s high quality student-centered education accessible to more students from underrepresented backgrounds. This fall’s enrollment shows that we are making progress on that mission of inclusive excellence, and serving the needs of even more of Washington’s citizens,” said Western President Sabah Randhawa.

Western welcomed 2,888 freshman students fall quarter and 1,141 new undergraduate transfer students. For fall 2015, there were 2,809 freshmen and 1,161 transfer students. This fall, 31.5 percent of new freshmen and 45 percent of transfer students are first generation students, or students who are the first from their families to attend college.

Total fall enrollment at Western for fall quarter is 15,574 compared to last year’s total enrollment of 15,332 students. Western maintains stable enrollment to better ensure its academic excellence.

Overall fall enrollment for students of color was 25.3 percent; that is an increase over a 24.9 percent overall fall 2015 enrollment of students of color, which then was a record for Western. For fall 2016, Hispanic and Latino students account for the greatest increase in the number of enrolled students of color followed by increases in the number of Asian students.

Western diversity outreach efforts include plans to expand the Ethnic Student Center; campus events related to the 2016-17 Western Reads book “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Equity & Inclusion Forums for faculty and staff; and ongoing work by the President’s Taskforce on Equity, Inclusion and Diversity.

Overall, more than 88 percent of all Western students are resident, in-state, with about 11.7 percent from out of state, including international students. There are students from 42 states and international students from across the globe.

About 78 percent of transfer students come directly from a state community college, led by Whatcom, Everett, Bellevue, Skagit, Green River and Olympic community colleges.

Leading areas of residence for in-state students are King County, Snohomish County, the Peninsulas areas, Whatcom County and Central Washington. The top five states outside of Washington where nonresident students are from are California, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho. 

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 9:08am

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