Figures released by the University of Wisconsin System show fall enrollment numbers holding steady compared to last year.
The preliminary numbers reflect an overall enrollment decline of 0.4 percent for the UW System from last year, for an overall headcount of about 179,000 students. Final figures are not expected until next year. Freshman enrollments system wide dropped about 2.2-percent.
The largest decline in the system was on the UW-Green Bay campus, which saw enrollment drop by 7.5 percent. The UW-Stevens Point also saw a large decline, at 3.5 percent. The biggest gain was a 1.1 percent increase at the UW-Whitewater. System officials noted that some of the early figures do not reflect factors such as late-enrollment, which could cause an increase as the semester moves along.
In a statement, UW System President Ray Cross said that “UW enrollment continues to remain strong despite the declining numbers of high school graduates and other economic factors impacting an individual’s decision to seek higher education. College enrollments often spike during economic downturns and then level off as the economy begins to rebound. This is a natural, expected trend.”