WMU News

Fall enrollment is second highest ever

Sept. 14, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- This fall's enrollment at Western Michigan University hit its second highest level ever, and the number of students pursuing graduate degrees at the University reached an all-time high.

The 2003 fall enrollment of 29,178 is just 554 students, or 1.4 percent, below fall 2002's record. Undergraduate students accounted for 23,309 of the final tally, while graduate student enrollment stands at 5,869. Of the total, 26,725 students are attending classes at the University's main Kalamazoo campus. Also included in the overall figure are 4,333 beginning freshman students, down 4.6 percent from last year's class of 4,543.

"This year's enrollment is just where we wanted it to be, considering capacity and resource issues we have," WMU President Judith I. Bailey says. "In addition, given our student-centered research mission, I'm quite pleased with the increasing size and composition of our graduate college."

Bailey noted that the University's increased emphasis on graduate education in recent years is reflected in the record number of doctoral students enrolled this fall. The new student census shows 729 people are enrolled in doctoral degree programs at WMU, up more than 17 percent over last fall's doctoral student enrollment of 623. This is the second consecutive year of double-digit percentage increases in the number of WMU doctoral students. In fall 2002, the doctoral numbers increased by 16 percent over the previous year's number.

In addition, the 4,651 graduate students enrolled in degree programs for fall 2003 is the highest level ever, and represents a 2.5 percent increase from 2002's figure of 4,535.

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 269 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu


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