Enrollment has increased at several UW System colleges for this fall’s class of freshmen.
At UW-Madison, 7,550 freshmen are enrolled, up 10 percent from last year’s total of 6,862 students. The university selected these students out of a record-setting 43,921 applicants, 3 percent more than last year.
UW-La Crosse’s first-year class numbers are also up, setting a record at 2,194 students — a 28-student difference from last year’s record of 2,166 students.
First-year enrollment increased by 6.7 percent at UW-Stout — from 1,386 last year to 1,479 this year — and by eight students at UW-Eau Claire — from 2,327 to 2,335.
These increases come as national averages for college enrollment decline for the eighth consecutive year. Last spring, averages decreased 1.7 percent, or about 300,000 students.
Where these first-year groups come from is also changing, as only a very slim majority of UW-Madison’s incoming class — 50.3 percent — are Wisconsin residents. That’s a 3.1-percent decrease from last year.
Of these in-state students, 848 students participated in Bucky’s Tuition Promise — a program that covers the tuition and fees of Wisconsin residents whose family income is less than $56,000 a year. Just over one in five, or 22 percent, of in-state UW-Madison students this fall will have their tuition and fees paid for through this program.
UW-Madison also saw increases in students of color — defined as students who identify as African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian or Southeast Asian American — in the incoming freshman class, up 10 percent from last year. These 825 students make up 10.9 percent of this fall class of first-years.
UW-La Crosse’s total enrollment for fall 2019 also included more students of color — 1,081 out of 10,580, or 10.2 percent.