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UWRF, UW-System notice enrollment decreases

October 11, 2012

The entire University of Wisconsin System has experienced a decrease in enrollment for the 2012 fall semester.

The latest news according to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents meeting on Oct. 5, shows that overall enrollment in the University of Wisconsin System seems to be down by about 0.6 percent.

To find out what the student body break down is here at UW-River Falls, there are some experts who can provide insight. There is Director of Admissions Mark Meydam, Data Analyst Stacy Karl and Associate Policy and Planning Analyst Jen Pawelko. Transfer student, Dakotah Meyer, also shared her experience at UWRF.

Meyer is a transfer student from UW-Stevens Point but decided to join the UWRF family last year. When she was at UWSP, she was undecided about her major, but she heard about the agricultural science program and decided to make the switch. Between that and testimonials from friends, she is very happy with the spur of the moment decision and she has loved it here ever since.

However, that’s just one student. According to Pawelko and Karl, as of Sept. 19, there are a total of 6,383 students on campus this fall, which includes both undergraduate and graduate students. Approximately 449 students of that total are transfers. There are also 100 international students on campus. Pawelko and Karl say that the number of international students has increased in previous years.

Approximately 50.3 percent of students come from Wisconsin, 47.4 percent come from Minnesota and 2.2 percent are from other places, 60.3 percent of the students are female, and 39.7 percent of the students are male. The higher number of female students has also become a trend through education in general. Approximately 90 percent of the students are white, and other ethnicities vary between 0.2 and 2.0 percent each.

Meydam also provided a better look at this year’s freshman class. As of now, there are 1,119 freshmen. This again includes transfer students, as well as a category known as “special” students. A student under this category is perhaps taking college courses for personal reasons or trying to get into graduate school.

Meydam also says that the freshman class this year is down from previous years by at least 100 students. He says that fewer students are graduating from high school and times are still tough financially. He also says that he expects the freshman of 2015 to have to smallest class size, but it should go up afterwards.

UWRF has also become tighter on requirements, which means admissions didn’t admit as many students this year. On the other hand, the number of transfer students is up, which Meydam said reflects the cost environment.

Because a two-year college or a community college is typically less expensive than a four-year school, students may be starting off at a less expensive school and then transferring.

Overall, admissions at UWRF should see an increase in enrollment over the next few years. As for now, it’s a wait and see game.