University of Wisconsin Enrollment Up for First Time Since 2014

by Benjamin Yount


There are a couple of hundred more students at University of Wisconsin schools this fall after the university released its fall 2023 enrollment numbers.

“The estimates show an enrollment of 161,322 for fall 2023, an increase of 540 over fall 2022. For new freshman students, the estimates indicate an increase of 592 students in fall 2023 at UW System universities not including UW-Madison, which deliberately sought to reduce the number of incoming first-year students after last year’s incoming class was slightly larger than anticipated,” the university said in a statement.

The enrollment increases came at the Madison, Green Bay, Platteville, Stevens Point and Whitewater campuses.

The UW’s nine other campuses all lost students.

Eight of the UW’s 13 campuses have fewer than 10,000 students, and two have fewer than 4,000 students.

“Today’s enrollment announcement shows a continuing rebound of new freshman students making college plans for their future. This is a great sign for all of Wisconsin because freshman enrollment is a leading indicator of future enrollment,” UW System President Jay Rothman said.

This year is the first time since 2014 that UW enrollment increased.

It remains to be seen if the slight enrollment bump will be enough after Rothman said in May most UW campuses will lose money by the end of this school year.

“We have to move ourselves up. If we’re going to be successful in winning the war for talent, we want them to remain accessible and affordable to students and prospective students,” he said at the time, “but we need the state to participate with us as well.”

Since then, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Parkside announced either cuts or furloughs to close their campuses’ budget deficits.

The enrollment estimates are based on first-day registration figures and projections of other new students. The UW System says final enrollment figures based on the 10th day of classes – the standard measure of enrollment and the figure that will be officially reported to the U.S. Department of Education — will differ slightly when they are released later this fall.

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Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square. 
Photo “University of Wisconsin Students” by Bryce Richter of University of Wisconsin Communications.





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