WMU News

WMU enrollment shatters previous record

Sept. 14, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's fall 2000 enrollment of 28,657 is the largest in University history, with 756 more students enrolled than in 1991, when the previous record was set.

Total fall semester enrollment increased by 3.3 percent, a boost of 913 students over last year's fall total of 27,744. The new figure also surpasses 1991's previous fall enrollment record of 27,901 by 2.7 percent.

Contributing to this year's total was a 2.6 percent increase in the number of beginning freshmen. This fall's beginning freshman class has 4,543 members--117 more students than last year's record class of 4,426. In May, the University closed admission to its freshman class for the second consecutive year to keep the freshman class size at a manageable level.

"These new figures are both gratifying and challenging," says WMU President Elson S. Floyd. "We're delighted the University continues to prove a popular choice for students around the state and nation, but this continued growth means we must redouble our vigilance when it comes to maintaining the level of quality, small class sizes and access to faculty that our students expect and deserve. Those are the qualities that attracted students to us and those are the qualities we must preserve."

Floyd noted that 2,175 students, nearly half of this year's beginning freshman class, are Michigan Merit Award recipients through the state's new program to reward high school seniors for academic achievement. WMU is surpassed only by Michigan State University and the University of Michigan as the destination of choice for this year's winners of the $2,500 awards.

Enrollment at WMU is up in a number of categories, with major gains registered for international students, new transfer students, beginning graduate students and students enrolled in the University's continuing education programs.

The number of international students enrolled at the University soared more than 15 percent from 1,567 last year to 1,812 this year, reversing a downward trend in recent years that had been attributed to economic slumps in many of the University's key recruiting countries.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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