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UW System enrollment tops 175,000 (Mar 16, 2009)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 16, 2009

UW System enrollment tops 175,000

MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System recently released its complete Fall 2008 enrollment data, showing a record number of students pursuing degrees at the 26 campuses.

In the academic year beginning in September 2008, UW System’s enrollment reached 175,056 – an increase of 1,663 from the previous year, and an all-time record for the System. This is equal to 149,494 full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollments – also a record – based on the number of course credits carried by students.

The 10-year trend shows that the enrollment at the UW System is up by 19,222, or 12 percent, since 1998.  In that same period, FTE enrollment in the UW System increased by 18,596, or 14 percent.  The greatest headcount enrollment growth since 1998 has been at UW-Platteville (46%) and UW Colleges (35%).  Others reporting double-digit growth over the decade include UW-Milwaukee (28%), UW-River Falls (17%), UW-Stout (14%), and UW-Parkside (11%).

UW System President Kevin P. Reilly cited the growth in enrollment as evidence of the university following through on its commitment to do more for the state and its long-term economic health. The growth comes during a period of financial challenges for both the state and the university.

“Over 10 years, the total number of students grew by 12 percent, and the number of full-time equivalent students increased by 14 percent. At the same time, the number of state-funded employees in the UW System shrank by 1 percent. This shows that we are making efficient use of our available resources and providing better value to the taxpayers of Wisconsin,” Reilly said.  

“The enrollment growth is also widely dispersed across the System, with significant increases occurring at our two-year and four-year comprehensive campuses.  These campuses are essential to the economic and cultural well-being of their regions around the state, and this growth will be increasingly important to the economic vitality of the entire state,” Reilly added.

Wisconsin residents and Minnesota reciprocity program students make up 91 percent of the undergraduate enrollment in the UW System, with 9 percent classified as nonresident students.  This resident/nonresident makeup is virtually unchanged since 1998.

Growing the number of students in higher education is a key building block in the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin, the university’s strategic plan to benefit the state by producing more degree holders, creating well-paying jobs, and strengthening local communities.

The report can be viewed online at http://www.uwsa.edu/opar/orb-im/im/trends_enroll/tef08.pdf.

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