Spring enrollment data from the University of Wisconsin System show continued declines at many two-year campuses and some four-year universities.Enrollment across all state public colleges and universities showed little change, with an average 1.6 percent decline this spring, according to final UW System data. The average among all four-year universities was down 1.4 percent while the decline across the state’s 13 two-year campuses dropped by 8.6 percent. The declines were predictable, said Jeff Burhandt, UW System interim vice president for university relations. He said this was partly because enrollment tends to drop with winter graduations following the fall semester.
Burhandt noted it has been five years since the state’s two-year colleges were merged with four-year universities. He cited new programs like a master’s degree in a business administration program at UW-Stevens Point’s Wausau campus and a new engineering program at UW-Green Bay’s Marinette location as signs of growth.
“And we’re seeing some of the main campuses have been very creative and found some great uses for the branch campuses,” Burhandt said.
Enrollment at UW System two-year campuses has been falling for more than a decade, but some have bucked the trend.
UW-Green Bay campuses in Manitowoc, Marinette and Sheboygan increased enrollment this spring by 22.5 percent, 12.6 percent and 10.2 percent respectively. UW-Stevens Point at Wausau posted an enrollment gain of 22 students this spring, or 5.1 percent, over spring 2021. UW-Platteville Baraboo noted an enrollment growth of 2.4 percent, or four students, this spring.