WWU Enrollment Shows Record Number of Freshman Students

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University’s fall enrollment figures show that the freshman class is the largest in the history of the university. And overall fall enrollment for students of color is the highest ever at Western.

“We’re very excited to welcome our largest entering class and proud to continue expanding access for diverse and first-generation students at Western.  We are committed to advancing the success of every student throughout their time at Western, helping them achieve their goals toward timely graduation, and in their careers after,” said Western President Sabah Randhawa.

Western welcomed 3,147 freshman students fall quarter and 1,165 new undergraduate transfer students. For fall 2017, there were 3,114 freshmen and 1,181 transfer students. This fall, 28.8 percent of new freshmen and 42.5 percent of transfer students are first generation students, or students who are the first from their families to attend college.

Total fall enrollment at Western for fall quarter is 16,121 compared to last year’s total enrollment of 15,915 students.  While new student enrollment in fall 2018 grew slightly at 17 more students than the previous year, most of the enrollment growth is attributed to an increase in continued student enrollment from spring 2018 to fall 2018.

Overall fall enrollment for students of color was 26 percent; that is an increase over 25.6 percent for fall 2017 enrollment of students of color, which then was a record for Western. For fall 2018, Hispanic or Latinx students account for the greatest increase in the number of enrolled students of color followed by increases in the number of Asian students.       

Inclusive excellence is a core theme of Western’s new Strategic Plan; a student body which reflects the diversity of the state of Washington is an important part of that goal.

Overall, more than 87 percent of all Western students are resident, in-state, with about 12.6 percent from out of state, including international students. There are students from 43 states and international students from across the globe.

About 75 percent of transfer students come directly from a state of Washington community college, led by Whatcom, Everett, Skagit, Olympic and Bellevue colleges.

Leading areas of residence for in-state students are King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County, the Peninsula areas, Southwest Washington and Whatcom County.  The top five states outside of Washington where nonresident students are from are California, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska and Idaho.