New Freshman Applications to UW-W Up by Over 45%, Outpacing UW System’s 29%

By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner volunteer staff

Jeff Angileri, who was recently promoted at UW-W to Executive Director of University Marketing & Communication, told the Banner that as of June 1 the university’s new freshman applications for fall 2021 stood at 8835, more than a 45% increase from the same time in 2020, when there were 6058 applications. As of the same date in 2019 there had been 5925 applications.

According to a press release from the UW System, by June 1 the 13 universities had received 133,484 applications from new freshmen, about 29% higher than at the same point in 2020 and 33% higher than 2019. It was reported that applications by Wisconsin residents, first-generation students, and underrepresented minorities were also up. “The increases are the result of several actions the UW System took over the last 15 months to simplify the application process, including waiving application fees, creating a new EApp (electronic application), allowing students to use a single application for multiple universities, and suspending the requirement that students take the ACT,” the release stated.

“I’m thrilled with these positive application numbers. Our strategies are working, and we are setting the stage for success,” said UW System President Tommy Thompson. “While the pandemic challenged us all, students are primed to get back to campus his fall, and we want them to know that we are ready as ever to help them achieve their education goals.”

Although the increase in applications is encouraging, not all applicants are accepted, and some of those who are accepted do not enroll. For example, according to, in 2020 at UW-Madison, 73% of in-state applicants were admitted, while non-residents gained admission about 54% of the time. However, only 32% of accepted students actually enrolled.

Fall ’20 enrollment at UW-W was 11842, a decline of approximately 4% from the previous year, versus a System decline of 1.7%. It was felt that the pandemic was the primary reason for the declines, which on the national level for public institutions was 4%. According to Forbes, there was “an unprecedented decline in high school graduates enrolling in college last fall….The percentage of 2020 high school graduates who immediately enrolled in college dropped by almost 7% last fall…”

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