New UW student enrollment numbers highest since 2018

Students return to campus at UW-Oshkosh ready to start the fall semester.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 8:42 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin System is seeing the highest number of new student enrollments since before the COVID-19 pandemic seized the state.

System officials released preliminary estimates Thursday that show 26,442 first-year students, including freshmen and first-year transfers, were enrolled as of the first day of classes this fall. That compares to 25,602 in 2018; 25,937 in 2019; 24,407 in 2020; and 25,869 last year.

Overall enrollment, however, is down about 1%, from 162,980 last fall to 161,430. UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, and UW-Superior showed enrollment increases. UW-La Crosse was even. The rest of the system schools show a decrease, according to the estimates.

The system has seen overall enrollment drop in recent years due to fewer high school graduates and uncertainty created by the pandemic. According to system data, 2010 saw 182,090 students enrolled on the first day of fall classes, the most of any year between 2007 and 2021.