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UW Fall 2016 Enrollment Declines

October 5, 2016
students walking on campus
Students move between classes at the University of Wyoming. A drop in the number of nonresident students has led to a decrease in UW’s fall 2016 enrollment. (UW Photo)

Enrollment of students from Wyoming has held steady, but a drop in out-of-state students has resulted in a decrease in enrollment at the University of Wyoming, according to fall 2016 enrollment numbers.

Census data collected on the 15th class day show a total of 12,607 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at the university, compared to 12,841 in the 2015 fall semester. 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.

The number of Wyoming resident students this fall, 8,623, is up slightly from 8,618 at this point last year. However, the number of nonresident students fell from 4,223 to 3,984, a 239-student drop.

“Nonresident students are an important part of our enrollment mix, making up about 32 percent of the student body, and we are working to reach many more of them with the message of UW’s distinctive educational opportunities, small class sizes, vibrant student life, low student debt and high earnings upon graduation,” Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Axelson says. “We also will continue working hard to recruit our Wyoming high school graduates, as we have made an institutional commitment to grow our enrollment for next fall and the years to follow.”

Meanwhile, UW’s minority student population continues to increase, rising 5.4 percent, from 1,495 last fall to 1,576 this semester. Minority students now make up 12.5 percent of UW’s student body, up from 11.6 percent a year ago.

Here are some other highlights from the fall 2016 enrollment report:

-- Of 1,674 new full-time freshmen enrolled at UW in fall 2015, 76.4 percent returned to UW for their second year. UW’s freshman retention rate has now increased for four straight years.

-- The number of students transferring to UW increased from 930 last fall to 967 this semester, a 4 percent rise.

-- Among Wyoming community colleges, the biggest increase in transfer students to UW was from Northwest College in Powell, up 23 students, or 47 percent.

-- The total number of graduate students increased from 2,783 last fall to 2,807 this semester, a 1 percent rise.

-- Enrollment in UW’s branch campus in Casper increased from 187 to 212, or 13.4 percent.

-- Among resident first-time, first-year students, the largest gains came from Fremont County (up 20, or 80 percent) and Sheridan County (up 16, or 57 percent).

For additional information or questions about UW enrollment, contact Axelson at or (307) 766-5123. Students interested in scheduling campus visits should contact UW Admissions at 800-DIAL-WYO or go online at

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