UW-La Crosse enrolls record number of freshmen

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse set a record this fall with 2,207 new first-year students.

The new numbers were released Wednesday showing an increase in first-year students, but a drop in overall enrollment.

Corey Sjoquist, assistant vice chancellor for Admissions & Recruitment, said the strong first-year numbers can be credited to the work of the Admissions Office, a reduction to UWL’s application fee, and the widespread appeal of a UWL education.

“We were able to have students come to campus and visit in a safe manner even through COVID, which really allowed people to get a sense of the energy and excitement of UWL,” he said. “Between our staff, faculty, programs and facilities, when students and families come to campus and see what we can offer, they want to join the UWL community.”

The previous record was 2,194 first-year students set in 2019.

Chancellor Joe Gow praised the Admissions Office for its recruiting efforts, especially amid a pandemic.

“We have one of the most talented Admissions staffs in the country,” Gow said. “Their ability to attain these impressive results during the pandemic is an inspiration to us all.”

Overall undergraduate numbers are falling.

“That’s where we’re seeing a decline. Our returning undergraduate degree students are down over 3%,” said Natalie Solverson, director of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning. “These challenges are being felt across the UW System.”