RICHLAND — WSU Tri-Cities set multiple enrollment records with 976 full-time equivalent students and a headcount of 1,372 students, according to numbers calculated …
“It’s been a phenomenal effort on the part of our campus community — and our supporters in the community — in recruiting, talking to students, accommodating, donating scholarships and working long hours to make sure students’ needs are met,” Chancellor Vicky L. Carwein said.
Last year, WSU Tri-Cities tallied 849 FTE students — setting a record — and a headcount of 1,261 students. The previous record for headcount was 1,278 students in 1996-1997.
Fall semester started Aug. 25, establishing WSU Tri-Cities as a full four-year university with its second freshman class of 89 students and the first year of a full sophomore program. The state legislative funded target for WSU Tri-Cities was 865 full-time equivalent (FTE) students, so the campus is “over-enrolled” by 111 FTEs.
“What this means is we need more resources,” Carwein said. “We’re serving 111 more students than we’ve been funded for. That is always a challenge. It stretches our resources.”
“We are committed to doing everything we can to serve our area, to admitting all qualified students who want to come here,” she said. “Scholarships are especially important. Our surveys of freshmen show that the main reason they come here is that we offer a quality education that’s close to home and is affordable.”
The diversity of the WSU Tri-Cities student body also increased, with 14.9 percent being multicultural — up from last year’s 12.6 percent. And 60.9 percent of students are women.
“We’ve nearly doubled our Hispanic population since 2006,” Carwein said, with the number of declared Hispanic students growing in two years from 75 to the current 141. “One of our goals is for our campus to be more demographically representative of the community we serve.”
Transfer student enrollments also are up, she noted.
“We’re thrilled that Columbia Basin College is expecting an enrollment increase this fall as well, which will mean even more transfer students in the future,” Carwein said. “Our partnership with CBC continues to thrive and we are expanding upon our relationships with the other community colleges in the region.”