WSU reported a universitywide fall enrollment of 23,428 students, up 0.4 percent, or 98 students, from last fall, in its report of 10th day enrollment figures released Monday. WSU enrollment is above the target set for the university by the legislature in the state budget.

The increase was driven by higher enrollment at WSU Vancouver, where headcount enrollment increased 368 students, or 18.8 percent from last year. The Vancouver campus welcomed its first class of first-time freshmen this fall.

At the Pullman and Spokane campuses, which are considered a single campus for state enrollment reporting purposes, head-count enrollment dropped by 222 students, or 1.1 percent. When viewed separately, WSU Spokane saw an increase in head-count enrollment to 1,580 students this fall, compared to 1,535 last fall. The Pullman campus enrollment is 18,423 this fall, compared to 18,690 in fall 2005.

“We are pleased that we were able to continue the trends of strong academic quality of our incoming class and keep enrollments stable overall in what was a challenging year for higher education around the region,” said Vicki McCracken, associate vice president and associate vice provost for enrollment services. In July, the Washington Office of Financial Management reported 9.3 percent fewer Washington students applied to the state’s public colleges and universities this year than last year.

“We again focused on bringing a well qualified and diverse group of freshmen to WSU and we succeeded,” she said.

Of the 2,699 incoming first-time freshmen in Pullman, 39.2 percent had high school grade point averages of 3.6 or better; 38.6 percent of the incoming freshmen last fall had 3.6 or higher GPAs. The average high school GPA of both fall classes is 3.45. The average SAT score of this year’s incoming class is 1103, compared to 1109 last year. The first-time freshman class in Pullman is down 186 students from last year’s class.

The first-time freshman class in Pullman includes 15.7 percent minority students, compared with 14.9 percent in last fall’s class. The percentage of Asian-American and Latino students went up slightly, the percentage of African-American students remained the same and the percentage of Native American students fell slightly.

Students of color made up 14.1 percent of the total student body, including all undergraduate, graduate and professional students, at the Pullman and Spokane campuses as compared to 14.3 percent last fall

The entering first-time freshmen at WSU Vancouver are also a well-qualified group, with an average high school GPA of 3.52 and average SAT of 1092. The Vancouver campus welcomed 157 first-time freshmen, 15.9 percent of whom are minority students. Overall, the Vancouver freshman class, including students who have already earned some credits but remain freshmen in academic standing, totals 192 students.

The new freshman class helped lift the number of full-time equivalent students by 24.8 percent at WSU Vancouver, from 1,364 in fall 2005 to 1,702 this fall. Students of color make up 9.9 percent of total enrollment at WSU Vancouver, up from 7.3 percent last year.

At the WSU Tri-Cities campus, the number of full-time equivalent students, a measure of the total number of credits taken by student, edged upward from 691 last fall to 693 this fall. Head-count enrollment fell from 1,144 students in fall 2005 to 1,096 students this fall. In addition, 160 students are enrolled through Columbia Basin College in WSU Tri-Cities’ BRIDGES program. Students of color represented 10.4 percent of total enrollment this fall at the Tri-Cities compared to 8.5 percent last fall.

The Tri-Cities campus has received legislative approval to bring in its first freshman class next fall.