By Kathy Barnard, University Communications
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University enrollment hit an all-time high this semester and has grown in diversity as well as size, according to figures released Monday.
Some 28,686 students are enrolled at WSU campuses throughout the state, more than 1,007 students more than the previous record set in the fall of 2012 and a 4 percent increase over last year’s enrollment.
“This is good news,” said Dan Bernardo, WSU provost and executive vice president. “Undergraduate enrollment is up 3.5 percent, which is particularly impressive given the current demographics of the state.” He explained that the state currently is in the “trough” of a high school graduation curve, reducing the pool of potential students.
At WSU, the overall increase includes a 5 percent increase in the number of graduate students and a 7 percent increase in students pursuing professional degrees in nursing, pharmacy, medical sciences and veterinary medicine. All of WSU’s urban campuses experienced a growth in enrollment as well: Spokane and Tri Cities were up 6 percent, and WSU Vancouver’s enrollment grew by 5 percent. The number of transfer students is up 5 percent.
WSU’s online Global Campus enrollment grew by 17 percent. “There has been a dramatic increase in the Global Campus, but there is more potential for growth in that area,” Bernardo said.
The number of new freshmen across all campuses grew by 7 percent, and again this year, the freshman class is among the most diverse in the university’s history.
Thirty-five percent of total entering freshmen self-identified as a student of color, including Asian, African-American, Native American, Hispanic, Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Last fall’s incoming freshman class consisted of 34 percent ethnic minorities.
“The growing diversity of our student body is a clear reflection of one of our fundamental land-grant values – providing access to a higher education,” Bernardo said. “That access enhances the overall quality of experience for all students.”
As in years past, WSU continued primarily to serve in-state students; nearly 85 percent are from Washington State.
Kathy Barnard, WSU University Communications, (509) 335-8055, firstname.lastname@example.org