MADISON – Preliminary figures indicate UW System enrollments for the fall 2014 semester are holding fairly steady over previous years, with a total head count systemwide of 179,017.

The fall enrollment numbers – which won’t be finalized until early 2015 – currently show a less than one-half percent (0.4%) drop over last year’s final enrollment total of 179,828.

“UW enrollment continues to remain strong despite the declining numbers of high school graduates and other economic factors impacting an individual’s decision to seek higher education,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “College enrollments often spike during economic downturns and then level off as the economy begins to rebound. This is a natural, expected trend. At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to expand college opportunities for broader sections of the state’s population through innovative programs like the UW Flexible Option.”

Initial data shows the number of new freshmen enrolling in the UW System decreased by 655 students from last year, a 2.2% decline. Nationally, college enrollment decreased by 2.3% in 2013-14, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report.

Preliminary fall 2014 data indicates the number of undergraduate students overall in the UW System decreased by one-half percent, while the number of graduate students increased slightly (0.3%).

It is important to note that preliminary enrollment numbers tend to be lower than the final tallies, because the final data includes enrollment numbers for interim sessions and other programs with later start-dates. At UW-Green Bay, for example, officials say the high percentage of non-traditional, late-enrolling students accounts for most of the apparent gap. They expect their final numbers will approach last year’s total.

“We are working diligently to develop the high-impact talent businesses tell us they need to grow Wisconsin’s economy,” said Cross.  “UW institutions are working harder and more creatively than ever before to recruit and retain students of all ages.”

More detailed enrollment data for fall 2014 will be available in mid-November.

Fall Semester (PRELIMINARY) Enrollment
Comparison with Prior Year (FINAL) Enrollment

Institution 2014 Preliminary Headcount* 2013 Final Total Headcount % Change
UW-Madison 42,926 42,903 0.1%
UW-Milwaukee 28,010 27,784 0.8%
UW-Eau Claire 10,685 10,907 -2.0%
UW-Green Bay 6,166 6,667 -7.5%
UW-La Crosse 10,526 10,502 0.2%
UW-Oshkosh 13,741 13,902 -1.2%
UW-Parkside 4,565 4,617 -1.1%
UW-Platteville 8,805 8,717 1.0%
UW-River Falls 6,145 6,171 -0.4%
UW-Stevens Point 9,340 9,643 -3.1%
UW-Stout 9,322 9,286 0.4%
UW-Superior 2,606 2,656 -1.9%
UW-Whitewater 12,148 12,015 1.1%
UW Colleges 14,122 14,058 0.5%
UW System 179,107 179,828 -0.4%

* Does not include the enrollment numbers for interim sessions or other programs with later start-dates, which will be included in the final total headcounts.


Preliminary data shows UW System’s 2014-15 enrollments holding steady pdf

Media Contact

Heather LaRoi UW System 608-265-3195