WSU enrollment and retention increase

Retention, minority enrollment rates improved

JONATHAN VILLANUEVA, Evergreen reporter

WSU has released their fall semester enrollment data, showing that retention rates at WSU have improved 2 percent since last year.

The Office of Institutional Research at WSU released statistics showing that all WSU campuses retention rates are improving. In Pullman specifically, enrollment retention went from 79.5 percent to 81.7 percent.

Fran Hermanson, the executive director of Institutional Research, said the factors they look at are how students were enrolled, if they dropped out and if they reapplied for the upcoming term.

One of the pieces of information that was talked about in the event was what affects students that come here at WSU.

Terese King, director of the Academic Success and Career Center, said many students drop out fall semester due to homesickness, financial issues and being generally overwhelmed.

King said parents are a big factor in college life and course work.

She said students come to her office to share their uncertainties about the classes they are taking and if it will help them in the future.

Sometimes, she added, students withdraw from courses because of how unprepared they felt for classes.

“It was academically more challenging than they predicted,” King said.

During an enrollment presentation Wednesday and a subsequent Board of Regents meeting, officials said enrollment had increased on campus.

Provost Dan Bernardo presented enrollment statistics to Regents members Lura Powell and Ted Baseler.

Bernardo said both freshmen statistics and diversity improved on all campuses this year. He said 38 percent of undergraduates are first-generation students and 32 percent are minorities.

Bernardo also said WSU’s student population had a 1.6 percent overall increase since last year, which includes both undergraduate and graduate students.

“We really do have an all boats rising here,” Bernardo said. ”We really want to grow the system across the state to educate our citizens.”