Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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UW schools face post-thaw admissions difficulties

Expecting a large incoming freshman class next fall, UW-Madison is not experiencing the admissions difficulties of other campuses around the state, officials say.

The state admissions freeze and subsequent thaw, resulting from state-university budget negotiations, is forcing admissions and guidance personnel around the state to react to a variety of different situations.

The freeze caused a panic among some high school seniors, according to guidance counselors, but because UW had already admitted most of its 2002-2003 freshman class, worries may have been unjustified.

“The ones that applied to Madison didn’t have much affect,” said Shelly Osmond, guidance counselor at Janesville Craig High School, one of UW’s largest feeder schools. “When we first received the letter notifying us about the freeze, we had quite a few people concerned because they had just turned in an application.”

However, the admissions crisis was by no means contained to the flagship campus.

“Each campus is at a different spot in the road in the admissions process,” said UW System spokesman Erik Christanson. “At the time of the freeze, Madison was almost done, but LaCrosse had already admitted their regular amount.”

Tim Lewis, director of admissions for UW-La Crosse, said his institution has been hard hit by the budget situation.

“We’re still kind of under a freeze; we’re still thinking over low numbers,” Lewis said. “La Crosse kind of got hit twice. By design, we were going to reduce enrollment, one of only two schools in the UW System to do so.”

Lewis estimates UW-La Crosse, under favorable conditions, will still be able to admit 250 new students, not all of whom would be full-time, nor all freshman.

Other UW System schools, such as UW-Eau Claire, face concerns on the opposite end of the spectrum.

“We were closed to freshmen before the freeze; but for the most part we are closed now as well,” said Bob Lopez, director of admissions for Eau Claire. “We’ve had a really interesting year; applications are up 12 to 15 percent. We’re kind of sitting and waiting for cancellations. We’re well over our target of 2085 freshman.”

Eau Claire’s influx of applicants and new students has brought a crunch to university housing on the campus. Some students have been forced into hotels for the beginning of the academic year.

“For the past couple years, Eau Claire has been in lounge assignment mode,” Lewis said “We will have students in hotels again this year.”

However, Lewis said the final housing situation for next fall is not concrete at this point.

“It is still yet to be determined,” he said. “Right now the housing numbers are looking good.”

Chuck Major, director of housing at UW-Eau Claire, said the problem of overcrowded campus housing is not new to the campus.

“Eau Claire, like Madison, is a popular school,” he said. “What has impacted this is [that] mainly each year the number of upper-class students who want to remain on campus goes up and up. They choose this because it’s convenient, we offer good computer services, it’s safe and economical. I think we all work together to make [campus housing] attractive for upper-class students.”

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