PULLMAN - Washington State University saw its total enrollment drop 7.7% compared to last fall, according to the university. In fall 2022, WSU's systemwide enrollment was 27,539 students, a decrease of 2,304 from last fall.
This marks the third consecutive year total enrollment has dipped at WSU.
Despite total enrollment being down, the enrollment data presented to members of the WSU Board of Regents Academic and Student Affairs Committee did include several encouraging results:
- WSU Pullman saw its number of new first-year students increase for the first time in four years, rising from 3,305 last fall to 3,324 this semester.
- WSU Global reported an increase in new first-year and transfer students compared to fall 2021, contributing to an undergraduate enrollment increase of 127 students, a 5.2% gain.
- WSU Vancouver welcomed 105 new graduate students, a 6.1% increase over last fall.
- The number of students enrolled in medical professional and certificate programs at WSU Spokane increased by 12 students, or 3.9%.
- WSU also saw modest gains among new first-year and transfer students of color, international students, and first-generation university students.
“While across the nation higher education faces significant enrollment challenges, at WSU we have retained 80% of the more than 6,300 students who started in the fall of 2021. All of our campuses are working together to attract, retain, and ultimately graduate the next generations of Cougs,” said WSU Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Chilton.
Fall 2022 enrollment levels for each of the WSU system’s six campuses based on the standard annual 10-day headcount are as follows:
While total enrollment at WSU Pullman declined from 19,114 in the fall of 2021 to 17,827 this fall. The number of new first-year students was up to 3,324, a 0.6% increase.
After five consecutive years of growth, WSU Global’s total enrollment dipped from 4,069 last fall to 3,839 this fall, a 5.7% decline. Positive trends were observed among new first-year and transfer students, contributing to a total undergraduate enrollment increase of 5.2%, from 2,462 students last fall to 2,589 this fall.
Total enrollment at WSU Vancouver dipped from 3,233 students last fall to 2,833 this fall, a decline of 12.4%. Much of that was the result of a 23.5% decline in new transfers, a loss of 107 students. The number of new first-year students dropped by just 28, or 6.7%.
WSU Tri-Cities experienced an 8.2% drop in total enrollment between fall 2021 and fall 2022, from 1,558 to 1,430 students. Its new first year and transfer students declined by 7.7% and 1.8%, respectively. WSU Tri-Cities continues to serve a very diverse population of 50% students of color and 46% first-generation students.
Driven by a 28.8% drop in new transfer students, WSU Spokane saw its total enrollment fall from 1,625 to 1,424, or 12.4%, compared to a year ago. It did see its total number of students pursuing medical career certifications and degrees increase from 308 to 320 students.
While WSU Everett did see its new first-year student total increase by a few students, a significant drop in new transfer students pushed it to a total enrollment decline of 23.8%, from 244 students last fall to 186 this fall.