Record-breaking freshman class enrolled at UW

· Oct 7, 2001 Tweet

The UW-Madison admissions office has enrolled 6,234 freshmen for the fall 2001 semester, breaking a record set thirteen years ago.

According to UW admissions, the number of freshmen enrolled this semester more than challenges the 5,934 freshmen enrolled in 1988.

UW officials said this increased enrollment represents UW’s increasing popularity and is not a ploy to bring in more money.

“Most of the big schools are experiencing a strong year,” said Keith White of UW admissions. “National universities continue to garner a larger share of the pie every year. [But] there was no goal to enroll more students to garner tuition dollars.”

UW admissions officials noticed a flux in applicants as early as last June, and by the end of that month had reported 6,100 had already paid the $100 enrollment fee.

The school received a record 20,330 applicants, an increase of 8.7 percent since the previous year and 55 percent increase since ten years ago.

“The demand for an education at UW-Madison is higher than ever before,” UW admissions director Rob Seltzer said.

Of the 20,330 applicants, 65 percent applied as Wisconsin residents. Twelve percent of the applicants are from Minnesota and are considered out-of-state, despite the fact that they pay less tuition than other out-of-state applicants because of reciprocity. White said the school had originally planned to retain last year’s freshman-class size of 5,740, but will not turn away the excess.

According to a UW press release, the class is unusually qualified as well.
The class has an average high school grade point average of 3.6, and half of new freshmen graduated in the top 10 percent of their class.

The class averaged ACT scores of 27 and SAT scores of 600 in verbal and 648 in math.

These figures surpass both state and national figures.

Seltzer said these numbers raised UW’s admissions bar.

“High school students must meet a higher standard to be considered for admission into the university,” Seltzer said.

New freshmen also showed increased involvement in extracurricular activities and jobs.

According to the press release, half of incoming freshmen received awards for leadership, and 250 of them have performed on radio or TV. More than three-fourths of new freshmen worked part-time while in high school.

“These new students possess talents and skills that go beyond their outstanding performances in the classroom,” Seltzer said. “They will be a great asset to this university and the surrounding community.”

According to top UW officials, the larger freshman class will not have much of an effect on residence-hall housing, individual class sizes or the amount of financial aid available to students.

Paul Evans, director of housing at UW, said it is not possible to increase the existing strain on campus housing.

“We don’t have a way to increase our occupancy [right now],” he said. “For those who can’t live on campus, we refer them to [various off-campus housing organizations].”

Susan Fischer, associate director of the UW financial aid office, said the massive new freshman class will have “no impact” on available financial aid. Fischer said most of the money is provided by the U.S. government or various banking organizations, not the university, which means that though financial aid requests are up a couple hundred this year, the school itself will not be shortchanging anyone.

As far as individual class sizes, there is already a strictly enforced cap on the number of students in specific-style classes, White said.

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This article was published Oct 7, 2001 at 10:00 am and last updated Oct 7, 2001 at 10:00 am

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