University News

UW-Whitewater sees increase in freshman class; record graduate enrollment

September 21, 2021

Written by Jeff Angileri | Photos by Craig Schreiner

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater welcomed its largest freshman class in four years, with 1,873 new freshmen enrolled for the fall 2021 semester. Total enrollment at the university is 11,447, with 10,804 students at the Whitewater campus and 643 students at the Rock County campus. The figures represent preliminary enrollment numbers taken on the 10th day of instruction. Final figures are expected to be available later in the fall semester.

“We’re elated to see students once again engaged in learning in the classrooms and laboratories, and competing on the athletic fields. We know how important in-person instruction is to our students and 83% of our undergraduate classes offer them that experience. There is a wonderful energy permeating the campus this semester with many athletic and social events,” said Jim Henderson, interim chancellor. “While our overall enrollment is down slightly, the larger freshman class and other recruitment successes point to a positive trajectory for our enrollment moving forward.”

The School of Graduate Studies is seeing it’s largest class in history with 1,683 students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates, an increase of 116 students from last year.

With the fall 2021 semester underway, UW-Whitewater is already accepting and processing applications for the fall 2022 semester. Students applying for undergraduate admission can do so at no cost, and ACT/SAT test scores continue to be optional as part of the university’s comprehensive review process. The admission application also serves as a student’s application for many new student scholarship opportunities. Daily campus tours are available at the Whitewater campus and weekly tours at the Rock County campus.


Students sit in class with Mac computers.


New this year, UW-Whitewater is part of a $1 million initiative to help guide high school students in preparing for, applying to, and enrolling in one of UW System’s 13 universities. UW-Whitewater pre-college coaches will start this fall semester and work in Beloit Memorial and Turner high schools, Janesville Craig and Parker high schools, and in Badger (Lake Geneva), Bigfoot (Walworth), Delavan-Darien, and Elkhorn high schools.

“Our counselors are excited to engage earlier with students as they explore their college options across the UW System and find the appropriate education pathways that align with their career interests,” said Matt Aschenbrener, associate vice chancellor for enrollment and retention. “The focus of the pre-college pipeline initiative is to work with regional high school partners to identify and prepare under-represented and underserved students to help them be successful at the university and beyond. We are fortunate to be working with 8 of the 25 high schools involved with this project.”

For more information on enrollment and UW-Whitewater data, visit the Institutional Research and Planning website at