Flood of students

2,400 applications for 400 remaining freshman slots

By Sue Hinz

WSU News Bureau

Admissions officials will be choosing from the cream of the crop in the next few weeks as they decide which freshman applicants are granted admission to the university. Currently, the ratio is six-to-one, with 2,400 applicants vying for 400 remaining spots in the fall freshman class.

“We no longer are encouraging new applications from freshmen,” said Jim Rimpau, enrollment management director. “Any further applicants will be considered — only with faculty support — on the basis of extraordinary credentials.”

Wendy Peterson, director of the Office of Admissions, said WSU’s freshman class is expected to total 2,825.

“Unfortunately, we will have to turn away many qualified students. However, we cannot admit too many and still maintain the quality education our students should expect,” Peterson said.

Rimpau said the limiting factor on enrollment is state funding. “Above a certain level of enrollment, we will interfere with quality. We are committed to maintaining the quality education our students deserve.

“Students should be able to get the classes they need in a timely manner and not have to extend the number of years to graduation, as is happening in other states,” he said. “The university, too, is trying to keep its class size as small as possible.”

The fall freshman total would increase the university’s enrollment to about 500 more than is supported by the state budget. The incoming freshman class would be about 200 more than last fall’s.

To date, there is a 45 percent increase in the number of in-state students with a 3.6 grade point average who have confirmed their enrollment for the fall. The out-of-state freshman scholars are up some 51 percent.

Officials are pleased with a significant increase in the number of students of color who are planning to attend WSU. The number of multicultural students who have confirmed their enrollment for the fall is up more than 25 percent from 2001.

The university’s new Regents Scholarship program provides more than $3 million in scholarship awards for high-achieving Washington high school seniors who choose WSU. To date, 18 of the 25 students who were offered a four-year, full scholarship to the university have accepted the award worth, more than $14,000 each year.

In addition, the university awarded a significant number of University Achievement Awards to early applicants with GPAs of 3.6 or higher.

University officials expect that more than $125 million in scholarships and financial aid will be granted to more than 14,000 WSU students for the 2002 – 2003 school year.

“The university’s commitment to academic quality has been our focus,” Peterson said. “We believe that these outstanding students are attracted to WSU because of its reputation as a place where they will receive a world-class, undergraduate education experience working alongside outstanding faculty.”

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