UW Sees Increases in Transfer and Graduate Students as Overall Enrollment Drops Slightly

Significant increases in transfer and graduate students helped make up for an unexpected drop in first-time students at the University of Wyoming this fall.

The 858 new transfer students represent an 8.6 percent increase from the 790 in fall 2022, including an 11.9 percent increase in in-state transfers. And the 2,663 graduate students are up 3.1 percent from the 2,582 last fall.

Still, UW’s overall enrollment of 10,913 is down 1.7 percent from 11,100 in fall 2022, although the number of students from Wyoming is up by 4 percent. This is according to census data collected on the 15th day of classes. The 15th day is used because it falls after the class drop/add deadlines and after the first tuition and fee payment is due.

“We continue to see some difficulty in recruiting and retaining students from outside Wyoming since the pandemic,” says UW Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Kyle Moore. “It’s an issue we are working hard to address, recognizing that universities across the country are having similar challenges as college enrollment nationwide has dropped.”

After two straight years of increases in UW’s first-time freshman classes — including a 10.2 percent increase last fall — this year’s first-time headcount is down 10.1 percent. That’s primarily a result of a 14.4 percent drop in out-of-state freshmen, from 658 to 583. This year’s freshman class includes 900 Wyoming residents, down 7.1 percent from last fall, when the 969 first-time students from Wyoming was the second-largest number ever recorded at UW.

“We’re certainly pleased that our transfer numbers rebounded nicely this fall, but the drop in first-time students, especially nonresidents, is not what we had expected at this time a year ago,” Moore says. “We have intensified our efforts in recruitment and marketing in targeted markets in this region and other parts of the country, and we’re hopeful for improvement in an increasingly competitive higher education landscape.”

In addition to the increases in transfer and graduate students, a bright spot this fall is the fact overall Wyoming resident enrollment is up 4 percent from last fall — rising from 7,393 to 7,692. Additionally, the number of students taking classes through online degree programs increased by 13.2 percent, from 1,607 to 1,819.

As well, the percentage of full-time freshmen in fall 2022 who returned to UW this fall is 77.0 percent, up from last year’s fall-to-fall retention rate of 75.4 percent.

“We continue to focus on both student recruitment and retention as we work to reverse our overall drop in enrollment since the pandemic,” Moore says. “The headwinds for higher education are strong, but UW remains a tremendous value, as more than half of our graduates have no student debt — and, on average, their starting salaries are higher than those of most of our peers.”

For additional information or questions about UW enrollment, call Moore at (307) 766-4286 or email kyle.moore@uwyo.edu. Students interested in scheduling campus visits should call UW Admissions at 800-DIAL-WYO or go online at www.uwyo.edu/visit.