The University of Wisconsin System released its 10-day census enrollment estimates early last week, revealing a small increase in UW-Madison’s enrollment.
The estimated statistics are based on day-one enrollment and predict enrollment increases at UW-Madison that would raise total UW System enrollment, according to a UW System report.
Enrollment has become a key fiscal issue for UW System schools — some of which have instituted layoffs and furloughs — as they are grappling with a $32 million cut from the state Legislature’s budget-writing committee.
The UW System conducts a formal student census each year on the tenth day of classes, and those results will be released later this week, according to University Communications employee Doug Erickson.
UW Madison is one of five UW System schools predicted to have increased enrollment, not including branch campuses. An estimated 50,255 students are enrolled at UW-Madison for fall 2023, a 1.3% increase from Fall 2022’s 49,587, according to a UW System report.
“I think [students and parents] appreciate our affordability and our accessibility, and [our universities] will change the lives of those students who will become graduates and do great things both in the state of Wisconsin and beyond," UW System President Jay Rothman told reporters at a Thursday briefing, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
As a whole, the estimate shows the total fall 2023 enrollment increasing by 0.3% across the UW System, with 161,322 students enrolled. However, out of the 13 main campuses, eight are expected to go down in enrollment.
When UW-Madison’s statistics are excluded, the UW System total enrollment drops to a 0.1% decrease in enrollment.
UW-Whitewater is predicted to have the highest enrollment increase at 3.4% while UW-Stout’s enrollment is expected to have the greatest decrease at 3.5%. UW System branch campuses are also included in the data set, and their enrollment is expected to go down from 5,075 to 4,803.
The estimates precede the official 10-day student census, which was conducted on Tuesday, September 19. Officials are analyzing the official census data to present in a fall enrollment press release, Erickson said. The press release is set to be released on Thursday.