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UW System enrollment down 1% since 2020


MADISON (WKOW) -- The UW system released its initial fall 2021 enrollment figures Wednesday, showing enrollment figures down slightly compared to fall 2020.

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According to a press release from the UW System, releasing initial enrollment estimates is not common practice, but officials decided to disclose these early figures in order to examine the impact of COVID-19.

“These preliminary estimates reflect a number of factors,” system president Tommy Thompson said. “It’s clear that students continue to view the UW System as a tremendous value and their ticket to a brighter future. New freshman and transfer students are up, thanks to our added recruitment tools coupled with the extraordinary work done by admissions and registrations staff.”

Thompson notes that freshman and transfer registrations are up 4%, including increases at eight of the 13 UW campuses. However, overall enrollment dropped at 10 of the 13 system schools, with only UW-Madison, UW-Green Bay and UW-Superior going up.

“The last 18 months have been incredibly challenging, not only for our UW schools, but also at colleges of all types throughout the nation,” Thompson said. “With plentiful jobs and COVID-19 creating challenges, retaining students has been especially difficult for all of higher education.”

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