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Enrollment tops 25,000, numbers up across the board

Sept. 16, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Increases in the number of new students at all levels of instruction have sent Western Michigan University's enrollment surging past the 25,000 mark, with the official tally of students enrolled at the University now standing at 25,045--a nearly 2 percent increase over last year's figure.

Photo of WMU students.The University's annual fall census, completed late Sept. 14, shows WMU now has 469 students more than in September 2009, when the official fall enrollment stood at 24,576. That is a 1.91 percent increase, which surpasses fall enrollment estimates made earlier this year. The increase is reflected across the University in more beginning undergraduates, more students at the master's level and more doctoral students.

The raw numbers also indicate that when a detailed analysis of enrollment data is completed in the coming weeks, that analysis will reveal a significant increase in the University's retention rate--the percentage of students who return following their freshman year. Retention has been a major focus of campuswide efforts in recent years, with a number of initiatives launched to identify and provide additional support for students who have difficulty transitioning from high school to college.

WMU President John M. Dunn announced the enrollment figures during his annual State of the University address this afternoon, thanking members of the campus community for their work in establishing a welcoming and supportive environment in which students can be successful.

"We have significant growth in the number of new students at all levels," Dunn told those attending. "As important as that growth is, I find myself even more encouraged by the fact that we have achieved a major increase in our freshman-to-sophomore retention rate…due to your efforts to reach out to help students during those all-important first months on campus."

Summary of WMU's fall 2010 enrollment report

  • Beginning freshmen enrollment is up by 6.8 percent from 3,267 to 3,488.
  • Transfer enrollments increased by 12.9 percent from 1,705 in fall 2009 to 1,925 this year.
  • Nonresident enrollment increased for the fourth consecutive year, this fall by 5.3 percent.
  • Total graduate enrollment is up by 1 percent, while enrollment at the master's level is up by 2.8 percent. This is fourth consecutive year the University has seen enrollment increases at the graduate level.
  • Enrollment at WMU regional sites increased by 2.3 percent from 1,598 to 1,635.

Once again, the average academic profile of the beginning freshman average is slightly higher than the profile of the previous year's class. Beginning freshman coming to WMU this fall hail from 73 Michigan counties, 25 additional states and 24 other nations.

WMU's overall enrollment includes students from all 83 Michigan counties, dozens of other states across the nation and 94 other countries.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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