MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents this week will review enrollment data showing that the 26 UW campuses are providing record levels of educational access to the state’s public university.

UW System administrators will report tomorrow that a record 173,313 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the Fall 2007 semester. This represents a 2.1 percent increase from the previous academic year.

Historically, UW System enrollment first peaked in 1986 with 167,491 students. Enrollments reached new highs in 2005.

“Everyone agrees that Wisconsin must help more state residents achieve a college degree. In the context of the serious financial challenges this university has faced in recent years, these data show that the UW System has been able to achieve gains in productivity and efficiency that allowed us to manage the increased demand very effectively,” said Don Mash, executive senior vice president of the UW System.

UW System Enrollment Highlights

Headcount Enrollment 169,706 173,313 3,607 2.1%
New Freshmen 29,342 30,655 1,313 4.5%
Transfer Students 8,893 9,106 213 2.4%

Sharon Wilhelm, interim associate vice president of Policy Analysis and Research for the UW System will discuss enrollment data that demonstrate the UW System’s success in expanding access to higher education, and some of the main drivers behind these gains.

“The number of new freshmen is at all time high, with an incoming class of 30,655 students this year. Together with more transfer students from the Wisconsin Technical Colleges, the overall increase in new UW students contributed to an encouraging trend. Our campuses are investing a lot of time and effort to support students in their efforts to complete their bachelor’s degrees. We are seeing the dividends of that investment in the growing number of continuing students,” explained Wilhelm.

Wilhelm will report other important factors with the Regents, including the UW System’s progress in enrolling more students of color and a growing number of US military veterans. In addition, the most recent data show that international enrollments at UW System campuses have rebounded to levels not seen since before the September 11 attacks.

The UW System is comprised of two doctoral universities, 11 comprehensive universities, 13 freshman-sophomore UW Colleges, and the statewide outreach networks of UW-Extension.

Media Contact

David Giroux UW System (608) 262-4464