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UW Sees Increase in Enrollment of First-Time Students

September 20, 2021
person cheering in a crowd
UW students cheer during a pep rally for new students at War Memorial Stadium at the start of the fall semester. UW’s first-time student headcount has increased by 3.7 percent over last fall. (UW Photo)

The number of first-time students from Wyoming attending the University of Wyoming has grown by 11.5 percent this fall, driving an overall 3.7 percent increase in UW’s first-time headcount.

Some 909 students from Wyoming have enrolled in the state’s university for the first time, up from 815 the year before and topping the pre-pandemic number of 902 in fall 2019. As a result, the total number of first-time students this semester has grown to 1,477 from 1,424 last year.

According to census data collected on the 15th day of classes, UW has enrolled a total of 11,479 students this semester, down 3 percent from the overall enrollment of 11,829 last fall. The 15th class day is used because it falls after the class drop/add deadlines, and after the first tuition and fee payment is due.

“We’re excited that our class of new freshmen, particularly those from Wyoming, has increased. It’s a sign that we are on our way to recovering from the losses incurred by higher education institutions nationwide,” UW Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Kyle Moore says. “After we enrolled the two largest freshman classes in UW’s history in 2018 and 2019, the financial and other uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have been impactful and significant. We’re working hard to rebound as quickly as possible.”

The drop in nonresident students has been most pronounced, with a total of 3,644 students from out of state attending UW this fall -- compared to 3,844 last fall. There are 568 first-time nonresident students in this year’s class -- down 6.7 percent from last fall’s 609. At the same time, the number of nonresident transfer students enrolling this fall rose to 251 from 223 last year, a 12.6 percent increase.

“Across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many students to stay closer to home to start their college experience. It also has resulted in large decreases in community college enrollments in Wyoming and nationwide, which impacts transfer numbers,” Moore says. “The pandemic seriously hampered our ability last year to do face-to-face recruiting out of state and bring nonresidents in for campus visits, and that is reflected in our current numbers. We’re redoubling our efforts to recruit students from outside the state while still making recruitment of Wyoming students our No. 1 priority.”

Another bright spot in UW’s fall enrollment is a 4.9 percent increase in graduate and professional students, rising to 2,610 from 2,487 last year. Moore credits collaborative marketing and recruitment efforts with academic departments as factors in the increase.

For additional information or questions about UW enrollment, call Moore at (307) 766-4286 or email Students interested in scheduling campus visits should call UW Admissions at 800-DIAL-WYO or go online at

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