Fall enrollment numbers released; CWU sees roughly 8% decrease


Sean Bessette, Editor in Chief

Over 10,200 students are attending CWU’s Ellensburg campus and its eight sites and centers across Washington this fall, according to the 10-day census published in an article on cwu.edu. The number is down from 11,100 in fall 2020, which is roughly an 8% decrease.

In the article, President Jim Wohlpart said he was “pleased” with the enrollment numbers.

Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs Joel Klucking didn’t echo the same sentiment.

“Enrollment was not as high as we would have liked, but a surge at the end increased our numbers,” Klucking stated in the article. “We feel very fortunate that our students have chosen to remain with us through so much adversity.”

In an interview with The Observer on Sept. 28, Wohlpart said he was expecting to see a 5% decrease in enrollment numbers, but wasn’t sure at the time because the numbers aren’t recorded until the annual 10-day census.

There will not be any major budget issues or degree programs being cut in the near future as a result of the enrollment decrease, according to Wohlpart.

“We were able to address that on the front end right when I got here in June. We were prepared for the enrollment number so our budget will be fine,” Wohlpart said in the interview on Sept. 28.

The 10-day census showed that 43% of new first-year students and 45% of transfer students come from traditionally underrepresented communities, moving the university closer to becoming a Minority Serving Institution (MSI).

Designated by the U.S. Department of Education, MSI’s are rewarded “for their efforts to serve traditionally underrepresented communities.”

The census also showed that 53% of first-year students are women and 92% are Washington residents.

This quarter’s enrollment numbers are roughly a 16.7% decrease from the 12,257 students reported in fall 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.