WSU-2013-EnrollmentEnrollment at Winona State University remains stable despite overall enrollment declines in higher education nationwide and a shrinking pool of high school graduates in the Midwest.

Enrollment figures taken on the tenth day of the fall 2013 semester indicate strong interest in WSU continues, with a total student headcount of 8,753, the third-highest in the university’s history and only 1.4 percent lower than last fall’s headcount of 8,879. While this year’s new entering freshman class is smaller than previous years, WSU’s overall enrollment numbers have remained steady due to strong retention rates.

“Retention continues to be a key enrollment strategy for Winona State,” said Barbara Oertel, associate vice president for enrollment services. “We seek to attract students who will be successful here and to assist them in that goal. We want students who will not only attend WSU but who will graduate from WSU.”

In addition, the university has made strides in areas that will have long-term impact on enrollment, including attracting more diverse students. This year’s enrollment totals reflect a 25 percent increase in new underrepresented minority students and an 18 percent increase in new international student enrollment.

“The state of Minnesota is becoming more diverse,” said Oertel. “We recognize the need to attract and retain a student profile that is more reflective of local and national populations.”

According to Oertel, student success remains one of the university’s top goals.

“Winona State University continues to be in demand because we’re committed to our students,” said Oertel. “We continue to develop new programs and student support services to give our students the tools they need to become engaged and productive citizens.”

10th Day Enrollment Highlights:

  • Total student headcount: 8,753 (2012: 8,879)
  • New entering freshman: 1,650 (2012: 1,787)
  • New entering transfer students: 632 (2012: 604)
  • Graduate student enrollment: 501 (2012: 479)
  • Freshman retention rate remains steady at 78 percent
  • Four-year graduation rate remains steady at 31 percent
  • Six-year graduation rate increased to 56 percent (2012: 53 percent)
  • Enrollment of new underrepresented minority students is up 25 percent
  • New international student enrollment is up 18 percent
  • Freshman profile remains stable with an average ACT of 22.7
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Andrea Northam

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