Western Oregon University: Celebrating 150 years NEWS
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Lisa Catto
cattol@wou.edu
503-838-8163
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WOU attained 10% enrollment growth over past two years
for release:  November 13 , 2008

MONMOUTH – Western Oregon University achieved an all-time-high enrollment of 5,349 students for the 2008-09 academic year, a growth of 6.2 percent or 312 students. This is an overall increase of nearly 10 percent since 2006-07.

Major contributing factors to this success are a 21 percent increase of transfer students supported by the Western Transfer Advantage, and strong retention (72 percent) that reflects a strong campus commitment to student success including the Western Tuition Promise. The national retention average for public universities similar in size to WOU is between 60 to 65 percent.

The Western Transfer Advantage provides transfer students with customized services and support to help make their transfer to WOU a successful one. This includes early bird transfer student registration, orientation during New Student Week, academic advising, and financial aid. And the Western Tuition Promise guarantees that incoming undergraduate students won’t have a tuition increase for four academic years.

Associate Provost David Mc Donald said: “Western Oregon University has continued our successful ascent in enrollment thanks to success in several new initiatives like the Western Transfer Advantage. Students receive unrivalled support and services when transferring to WOU and our 20 percent increase in that area demonstrates that. Our retention has also been boosted thanks to the success of the Western Tuition Promise. In this economy, it’s important that our students can plan long-term for their educational expenses.”

This year’s entering class is 1,496 students; consisting of 934 freshman and 562 transfer students. The average grade point average of incoming freshman is 3.25, and their SAT scores were up by an average of 12 points over last year.

Enrollment at WOU is up 6.2 percent over last year. About 85 percent of the entering freshman are from Oregon, while students from Washington, California, Alaska and Hawaii make up the bulk of the remaining 15 percent.

The incoming class of WOU students continues the recent campus success in enrolling a more ethnically diverse class of students. Nearly twenty percent of the incoming class (excluding international students) was comprised of students from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

 

Table 1: Three-year look at enrollment numbers
Note: percentages indicate change over previous year
  2008-09 2007-08 2006-07
Total head count 5,349 (6.2%) 5,037 (3%) 4,889
       
Total new students 1,496 (4.3%) 1,435 (12%) 1,278
       
New freshman 934 (-3.7%) 970 (20.4%) 805
New transfers 562 (20.9%) 465 (-1.7%) 473
       

 

The Oregon University System's PDF news release about the system-wide enrollment numbers and the corresponding PDF fact sheet are also available.

# # #

Contact:

David Mc Donald
Associate Provost
503-838-8919 or 503-510-6488 (cell)
mcdonald@wou.edu

 

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