Although enrollment remained relatively flat from the fall of 2012, Washington State University today reported the second highest total enrollment in its history, with 27,111 students signed up for classes across the university’s four campuses.
The total reflects 123 fewer students enrolled this fall, which is a dip of roughly one-half a percentage point from WSU’s total enrollment for the fall of 2012.
Also reflected in the total enrollment this fall semester is the increasing diversity of WSU’s student population, in which nearly one in four students now self-identifies as a student of color. Enrollments by ethnic minorities, which includes Asians, African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and two or more races, comprised 24.9 percent of total enrollment this fall, compared to 22.6 percent the previous year. WSU’s 2013 entering freshman class is the most diverse class in its history, with minorities comprising a full 34 percent of total entering freshmen, compared with 31 percent of all entering freshmen in 2012.
As in past years, the large majority of students enrolled at WSU, roughly 89 percent of all undergraduates, are residents of the state of Washington.
On the university’s main Pullman campus, which for state reporting purposes also includes WSU Spokane, fall enrollment totaled 22,713, marking the fourth consecutive year in which enrollment there has exceeded 20,000 students. The net decrease in Pullman enrollment from the fall of 2012 amounted to 103 students – again, a decline of roughly half a percentage point.
Freshman enrollment on the Pullman campus totaled 3,763, a decrease of 316, or roughly 8 percent, from the near-record freshman enrollment recorded there in the fall of 2012. Total freshman enrollment on all campuses was 4,163, a decline of slightly more than five percent from fall semester last year. Data from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) indicate High School enrollments in Washington state peaked at 71,000 students during the 2009-10 school year and have since declined. WICHE projects the decline will continue through 2013-14, after which the state’s graduating classes are projected to grow by between one and five percent in most years through 2025-26.
The largest percentage increase in freshman enrollment was at WSU Tri-Cities, which registered 135 entering freshmen this year, for a 42 percent increase as compared to the fall of 2012.
Total fall enrollment at WSU Spokane increased from 1,247 last year to 1,378 this fall semester, or 10.51 percent. Overall enrollment at WSU Tri-Cities declined from 1,438 to 1,336, or 7.09 percent, during the same period. A total enrollment increase of 2.75 percent was reported at WSU Vancouver, where enrollment climbed to 3,062 this fall semester, up from 2,980 in the fall of 2012.