University reports record enrollment for 2015-16 academic year

By University Communications
September 24, 2015
Students walk to and from classes in September at UW-Stout. The university has record enrollment with nearly 9,500 students.

Photo: The university has record enrollment with nearly 9,500 students.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout’s remarkable enrollment growth continued this year, with the university reporting Wednesday, Sept. 23, yet another record.

The preliminary 2015 headcount was reported at 9,481, a 1.4 percent increase over last year’s preliminary headcount of 9,349.

The official headcount last year, recorded by UW System later in the year, grew to 9,371. A similar increase is expected for this year’s preliminary headcount, meaning UW-Stout’s enrollment may exceed 9,500 for the first time in the campus history.

Over the last 20 years, UW-Stout’s enrollment has grown by 31 percent; the official headcount was 7,237 in 1995-96. In comparison, the enrollment of the entire UW System has grown by about 14 percent in the last two decades.

This year at UW-Stout, new freshman enrollment increased almost 7 percent to 1,561, the largest freshman class since 2010.

“Our record enrollment is proof positive that prospective students and their families understand that a UW-Stout diploma is a ticket to a successful career right after graduation,” said Chancellor Bob Meyer, referring to the fact that 97 percent of UW-Stout graduates are working or continuing their education within six months of leaving campus. “Maintaining healthy enrollment is everyone’s responsibility at UW-Stout, so this is a ‘team win.’”

Scott Correll, UW-Stout Registrar and interim director of Enrollment Services, said UW-Stout exceeded targets for both new freshmen and transfer students. He also cited significant growth in the number of students enrolled in customized instruction, or online, programs.

“UW-Stout is becoming well-known for meeting the demands of a changing marketplace,” Correll said, citing the growth in online programs. “We also have a strong reputation for our students being ready for successful careers in business and industry right after they graduate.”

Patrick Guilfoile, provost and vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, said a prime example of the institution’s strong reputation with business and industry is the record number of employers expected for UW-Stout’s Fall Career Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 6-7. Nearly 400 employers are expected at the conference in the Multipurpose Room of the Sports and Fitness Center.

Guilfoile also said employees in Admissions and Financial Aid should be recognized for their dedication and success in meeting and exceeding enrollment targets. “They have a tough job in a challenging environment and came through with flying colors,” he said.

Meyer said another asset for UW-Stout is the number of programs it offers to students that they can’t find anywhere else in Wisconsin or the Midwest.

“If a student wants to study packaging, plastics engineering or video game design, they turn to UW-Stout,” Meyer said, adding that he was especially pleased 56 students already are enrolled in mechanical engineering, a program approved in April by the UW System Board of Regents.

“We knew that would be a popular program and fill an important industry need for more mechanical engineers,” Meyer said.