Skip to main content

Update: UW-Madison welcomes largest group of new Wis. freshmen since 2005

May 9, 2013 By John Lucas

Update: The issue of admissions has been in the news on Thursday, May 9. Below are figures from the entering class of 2012 from fall, 2012, showing the largest new class and most new Wisconsin freshmen since 2005.

With official enrollment numbers in, UW–Madison’s entering class of new students is a talented group, with the largest new freshman class ever (6,279 students) and the largest number of new freshmen from Wisconsin since 2005 (3,515 students).

The university received 29,034 freshman applications, the most in university history. Of those, 15,841 were admitted and 6,279 students decided to enroll. Total applications increased by more than 4,000 compared to five years ago.

Offers of admission to Wisconsin-resident students increased to 68 percent of total applications, up from 63 percent last year, offsetting a decline in the number of applications from Wisconsin residents.

The percentage of Wisconsin resident students enrolling dropped, from 59.6 percent in 2011 to 56 percent in 2012. However, the percentage was affected by the larger overall entering class (6,279 students in 2012 from 5,828 in 2011) and a dip in the number of graduating Wis. high school students.

Nonresident enrollment overall represents 25.8 percent of the total undergraduate population at UW–Madison this fall. That percentage is slightly above the UW System Board of Regents policy of 25 percent, but within the range with which the university can predict enrollment based on the history of admissions patterns. UW–Madison officials will continue discussions with System administration and Regents to better understand the impact on the campus. (Note: The Board of Regents amended the cap to 27.5 percent.)

“We remain committed to providing access for Wisconsin residents and to be able to deliver a high-quality academic experience that students and their families expect from UW–Madison,” says Joanne Berg, vice provost for enrollment management.

With this incoming class, 29,119 undergraduates are currently enrolled at the university, compared to 28,737 last year. Total university enrollment is 42,818, up from 42,441 last year.

The new freshman class has several notable features, Berg says. There is strong student-of-color representation, making up 14 percent of the new class. Seventeen percent of new freshmen are first-generation college students. In addition, 60 percent participated in varsity athletics, 58 percent were involved in school or community service and 39 percent participated in instrumental or vocal music.

Other key characteristics of the class include:

• Wisconsin counties represented: All 72

• States represented: 48

• Countries represented: 35

• International students: 10 percent

“We anticipate that this positive trend in a diverse class will continue to benefit students throughout their collegiate years and in the workforce after graduation,” Berg says. “Businesses and other organizations that want to hire our graduates continue to seek the talent and global perspectives we offer as a truly world-class university.”

More information on the new class and trends in admissions can be found here. Also, see a report on system-wide enrollment here.