WWU receives highest-ever number of freshman applications

Student demand to attend Western Washington University is strong, with the university receiving its highest-ever number of freshman applications. University officials say Western’s reputation for academic excellence and value are important factors drawing students to WWU.

The deadline for freshman applications for fall quarter 2015 was Jan. 31. As of that date, Western had received 9,802 freshmen applications for about 2,800 freshman slots for fall quarter, up by over 500 applications from last year and exceeding all previous years’ totals.

“It’s great to see more and more students and families discovering Western’s reputation for outstanding undergraduate experiences and great value.  They’re recognizing that Western provides distinctive educational opportunities, a community, and a comprehensive learning environment that sets us apart.” said Western President Bruce Shepard.

Applications from students of color are up by 12.2 percent. Applications from first-generation students (those whose parents did not attend college) are up 11.7 percent.

And high-achieving students from all backgrounds who have been admitted with highest honors or distinction are up by 12.8 percent.

“Every day, the faculty and staff of Western work very hard to build upon a 122-year tradition to provide the best possible educational experience for our students.  We take this seriously; this is who we are and what we do,” said Clara Capron, WWU assistant vice president for Enrollment and Student Services. “After visiting our campus and talking with our professors, students and parents intuitively feel as though Western is a great choice.”

As part of efforts to match available resources with enrollment, Western anticipates a steady overall enrollment to continue at about 15,000 students.

There is a determined effort on the part of Western to hold costs down as much as possible, without compromising strong academic quality. That combination of outstanding education with value are contributing factors as students make Western their destination of choice. Those same factors are reflected in national rankings; for example, Western is one of the 100 best values in public colleges, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. See: the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2015.

Western is the most efficient school among universities of its type in the Pacific Northwest, according to a U.S. News & World Report analysis that compared spending and educational quality. And Western ranked second overall as most efficient among regional colleges and universities in the West, a region stretching from Texas to the Pacific.

For their analysis,U.S. News looked at the public and private colleges that scored the highest on overall undergraduate academic educational quality, as measured by their position in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings, but that spent relatively less on their educational programs to achieve that outstanding academic quality.

Western also is the highest-ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2015 U.S. News & World Report college rankings, which are based on a variety of criteria including academic reputation, student selectivity and retention, faculty resources, peer assessment and financial resources.