Student record

UW system sees record levels of new student enrollments

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – New student enrollment at major campuses in the University of Wisconsin system is at its highest level since at least 2018, according to the UW system.

UW System President Jay Rothman believes that strategies to increase access and wane from the effects of the pandemic are the reasons for rising enrollment rates.

“Our UW universities are the biggest and best talent attractor in the state, and our application process is simpler and more affordable,” Rothman said. “We are turning the corner from the COVID-19 pandemic as our freshman class is the largest in years.”

University data shows 26,442 freshmen enrolled this fall. 25,869 freshmen enrolled in fall 2021 and 25,602 enrolled in fall 2018.

The UW system is also introducing a new initiative that starts in 2023 and will ensure that students from families earning less than $62,000 can attend a UW university without paying tuition fees. Rothman said Wisconsin’s tuition pledge will increase enrollment among low- and middle-income students in the future.

“Wisconsin faces ongoing workforce challenges, and it’s critical that the UW relentlessly focus on talent and graduate development to ensure our state is competitive and economically vibrant,” Rothman said.

UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Superior and UW-La Crosse are seeing increased enrollment. All other UW campuses are forecasting declining enrollment, according to official estimates.

According to Rothman, the optional ACT, easier application to multiple universities, and the removal of application fees may also explain the increase in enrollment.

“We will continue to demonstrate to students, parents and the public that there is no better value than the UW system,” Rothman said. “Wisconsin is counting on us.”