PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University’s spring enrollment total shows an increase of nearly 2 percent when compared with a year ago. Some 20,382 students are enrolled throughout the WSU system for spring 2002.

The WSU system includes the Pullman campus and branch campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver.

University officials are pleased with the increase in the number of students of color on the Pullman campus. The number is up more than 4 percent. Students of color represent 13.07 percent of the total WSU enrollment on the Pullman campus, compared with 12.85 percent a year ago.

Women make up 51.57 percent of the headcount of the Pullman campus, up slightly from the 50.90 percent last spring.

Enrollment figures also show an increase in the number of credits taken by WSU students on all of the campuses. The state has contracted to fund an average of 19,570 full-time equivalent students for the 2001-02 academic year. One FTE represents 15 undergraduate credits. WSU will average 19,952 FTEs during that time period, up 2 percent or 382 FTEs above the contracted number.

University officials predict the enrollment growth will continue into the fall 2002 semester. Admission applications for the fall semester at WSU are running more than 20 percent ahead of a year ago, report university officials.

“Prospective students know they want to be part of what WSU has to offer: the opportunity to work face-to-face with world-class faculty,” said Wendy Peterson, director of admissions.

Peterson said WSU’s new Regents Scholarship Program is one way the university is attracting the state’s high achieving teen-agers. Under the program, every Washington high school principals nominate up to two students with a minimum 3.8 grade point average from the school’s 2002 graduating class. The program provides more than $3 million in scholarship awards for those students.

Each nominee who attends WSU will receive a $3,000 University Regents Achievement Scholarship that is renewable for a second year. From an estimated 1,000 students statewide, the university selected 100 for an additional $1,500, also renewable for a second year.

The top 25 Regents Scholars, recently announced from this pool, each received a full scholarship to WSU for four years, valued at more than $56,000.

For outstanding seniors applying for early admission, WSU also offers the University Achievement Award for seniors with a 3.6 GPA. Available on a first-come, first-serve basis, seniors are eligible for a $2,000 award and a $500 waiver on residence hall fees, renewable the second year if they maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

The university’s commitment to academic quality has been the focus of WSU’s strategic planning and marketing campaign as well, which has been another factor in the increase in applications, Peterson said.

“We believe that outstanding students are attracted to Washington State University because of its reputation,” she said.