Fall enrollment surges by 760 students at Wayne State University

September 24, 2009

Wayne State University has chalked up its largest enrollment increase since fall 2004 and its second largest in a dozen years. Paced by a 5 percent increase in new, first-time and transfer undergraduate students and a 6.6 percent increase in new graduate students for fall 2009, enrollment at WSU is up 2.5 percent from a year ago.

Total enrollment is up from 31,025 a year ago to 31,786, an increase of 761 students. First-year retention of undergraduates was up by 7 percent, to 76 percent.

Howard Shapiro, associate vice president for undergraduate programs and general education, points to several reasons for the enrollment uptick at a time when the state's economic difficulties continue to make headlines.

"First and foremost are highly motivated students who realize that a college education continues to be a primary pathway to career success, particularly in challenging economic times," he says. "More students are re-enrolling and many are taking additional courses to complete their degree requirements sooner. To help ensure that they get that opportunity, the WSU Board of Governors has initiated several financial aid incentives, which include doubling the availability of need-based scholarship funds."

Tuition at Wayne State is among the lowest of Michigan's 15 public universities, even while WSU maintains its status as one of only three universities in the state ranked in the top research category of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

"We are extremely proud of our dedicated students, most of whom are making substantial economic and other sacrifices to earn a degree," Shapiro emphasizes. He says Wayne State's more than 350 academic programs as well as its research programs and its convenient main and satellite campus locations are other reasons for the university's popularity among students.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 31,000 students.