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Meet the record-breaking Class of 2022

September 24, 2018 By Doug Erickson
Photo: Students, some in "Business Badger" t-shirts, standing in crowd waving arms

First-year students sing “Varsity” at the end of the Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students at the Kohl Center Sept. 4. Photo: Jeff Miller

This fall’s class of newly arrived freshmen at the University of Wisconsin–Madison boasts several history-making firsts.

It’s the largest incoming class in the university’s history, drawn from the highest number of applicants ever. And the number of students of color is at an all-time high for an incoming freshman class.

The milestones come as UW–Madison continues its commitment to Wisconsin families. The university pledged in 2015 that, even in a time of declining high school enrollment in the state, each upcoming new freshman class would include at least 3,600 Wisconsin residents. This year’s number is 3,659.

“We are very happy with what this talented freshman class says about our teaching and research reputation both at home and abroad,” says Steve Hahn, vice provost for enrollment management. “And we are incredibly proud that these new students reflect our university’s commitment to affordability, accessibility and the people of our state.”

UW–Madison welcomed 6,862 freshmen this year, up from 6,610 last year, an increase of 3.8 percent.

The freshman class was selected from a record 42,741 applicants, up more than 7,000 from the prior year.

The freshman class includes 748 underrepresented students of color, defined as domestic students who identify as African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Southeast Asian-American. This number is up from 715 the prior year.

The percentage of underrepresented students of color in the freshman class rose from 10.8 percent last year to 10.9 percent this year, though it is down from 11.2 percent in 2016.

The freshman class includes students from 43 countries outside the U.S., 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, and 47 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

The freshman class has 595 international students, up from 550 last year.

Total enrollment for fall 2018 at UW–Madison grew to 44,413, up from 43,820 last year. Undergraduate enrollment is 30,361, up from 29,931 last year and the largest since 1986. The campus welcomed 1,141 new transfer students, up from 1,128 last fall.

The numbers come from the university’s official census, taken each semester on the 10th day of classes.