By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner volunteer staff
Total enrollment at the two UW-Whitewater campuses, which has declined for the past three years, has apparently fallen once again for the fall semester. Last fall’s 10th day enrollment at the Whitewater campus was 10,804, with the Rock County campus at 643. Jeffrey Angileri, University Marketing and Communication Executive Director, told the Banner this week that the 10th day enrollment numbers, the standard measure of enrollment, are not generally ready until mid-fall. However, the following statement that was included in a UW System press release dated September 22 anticipates a decrease at many campuses, including Whitewater: “UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, and UW-Superior are showing enrollment increases, UW-La Crosse is even, and the remainder will decrease, the estimates show.”
The information that was provided by the UW System was based on first day of classes enrollment estimates. It was indicated that, based on those numbers, new student enrollment at the main campuses is the highest since 2018. UW System President Jay Rothman stated, “The figures suggest that strategies to increase access are working and that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is waning on first-year enrollment.”
The statement continued, “Overall enrollment dropped 1 percent to 161,430, according to the preliminary estimates, or about 1,500 students, including 500 at the branch campuses and the remainder at the main campuses. This result was expected after the pandemic affected two years of enrollment….Overall enrollment has dropped in recent years due to fewer high school graduates in the pipeline and uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic. But Rothman said the first-year enrollment figures this fall suggest an improved outlook in enrollment. The strategies to increase access include the optional ACT, easier application to multiple universities, and the waiving of application fees.”
The Banner will provide the 10th day enrollment numbers when they are available.