WWU enrollment nears 15,000 students
Western Washington University has a record enrollment of nearly 15,000 students for fall quarter. Although the plan had been to hold enrollment to fall quarter 2009 levels, overwhelming responses by admitted students as well as increased retention of current students resulted in an additional 400 students.
Fall enrollment at Western is 14,979 students, including all full-time, part-time, undergraduate and graduate students and students who attend Western programs in Everett, Port Angeles, Bremerton, Seattle and Anacortes.
New freshman enrollment is a record 2,748 and there are 819 new transfer students.
“Western offers an excellence in academics that is highly sought by prospective students and strongly embraced by our current students,” said Western President Bruce Shepard. “In spite of continuing and significant state funding reductions, Western is working diligently and strategically to help address the state of Washington’s extremely low overall production of graduates with bachelor’s degrees, one of the lowest such rates by any state in the nation. There is strong demand in our economy for those with bachelor’s degrees; it is a key lynchpin for economic recovery and continuing prosperity for both our state and country.”
Student of color enrollment increased to a record 19.3 percent, compared with 18.66 percent in fall 2009. Students of color comprise 23.5 percent of freshmen and 21.7 percent of transfers – both records for Western.
Because of increased retention and reduced state funding, Western’s Office of Admissions will limit Winter and Spring 2011 admissions in order to provide necessary course access for currently enrolled students.
“Record enrollment is great in the fact that it means Western is doing a lot of things very well. On the other hand, it means that we have less space to accommodate new students in Winter and Spring 2011. With the larger than anticipated fall quarter enrollment, we simply do not have the space or the faculty to enroll all interested students,” said Karen Copetas, director of WWU Admissions and Enrollment Planning.
In addition to increased interest and increased retention, graduation rates continue to improve with 71 percent of all students who began studies at Western in Fall 2005 graduating in five years or less compared with 68 percent of the entering class of Fall 2004.