It’s another record-breaking year for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
On Sept. 21, Marketing and Media Relations at UW-W released preliminary numbers for this year’s enrollment, which marks a historical milestone.
The preliminary numbers show the university has more than 12,000 students enrolled for the fall semester. This numbers reflects this year being the largest first-year class: 2,220 new students.
The official campus enrollment numbers will be released in October. The university’s record enrollment is in part due to many of the recruitment efforts toward students in the surrounding areas.
“We do a number of things, we do a lot of high school visits, we market out to students who have taken the ACT and SAT,” Assistant Chancellor Matthew Aschenbrener said. “So we buy those names and we market to students that meet our profile.”
The university attracts a number of students with events such as campus tours and Warhawk Premier days, where students can tour the university and have unique opportunities to learn about the university.
The number of out of state students continues to grow with this record enrollment. The university mostly recruits within a two hour radius, which i ncludes parts of Illinois.
“Out of about 400 out of state students, about 350 are from Illinois,” Aschenbrener said.
With the growth of enrolled students, the university does have a plan to steadily grow with the student body by expanding and updating buildings on campus, as well as expanding class sections to accommodate the large number of students.
They begin this process during Plan-it-Purple, where new students choose classes for their first semester.
“Each summer, during our Plan-it-Purples, as sections are filling up, and filling the needs of students, we open more up,” Aschenbrener said.
The increase of students on campus, has also affected the residence halls, as there may not be enough space available to house the growing number of students.
“One of the reasons we’ve been telling the campus you can’t grow as you want to is because the amount of room we have available,” Frank Bartlett, Director of University Housing said.
The growing number of on-campus students affects many aspects of university housing, such as the number of students that qualify for exemption from the sophomore residence hall requirement.
“So it’s that conversation, what’s the give and take, what’s the impact. Because I know the University wants to grow,” Bartlett said.
Aschenbrener believes that the steady growth of UW-W is a planned effort to continue to grow over the years. However, he does say that the campus’ academic and social atmosphere will not change with the growth.
“We’re not going to feel like a Madison or Milwaukee anytime soon,” Aschenbrener said. “You will still have that ability to connect with staff members and faculty members on a regular basis.”