UW-Green Bay: Northeast Wisconsin’s Rising Brainpower

Final Fall 2021 enrollment: University’s growth on four campuses, graduate studies and new freshmen is a victory for the region

Green Bay, Wis.—Northeast Wisconsin received good news on the future workforce front today when the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay announced that final enrollment numbers for Fall 2021 are much stronger than originally predicted. The 9% enrollment gain accelerates the upward trend the University has been on over the last six years and shows its growing impact on the economy and quality of life in Northeast Wisconsin.

Overall, 830 more students chose UW-Green Bay this year, representing total enrollment growth of 9% and making the University the fastest-growing UW school for the second year in a row. UW System released its final fall enrollment numbers, today.

“We are so incredibly proud of our higher institutions of learning that serve our entire 18-county region, says Barb LaMue, president and CEO of New North, Inc. “UW-Green Bay’s enrollment is a reflection of enhanced outreach to students at all stages of life, engagement with the business community on helping their talent continue their education to receive degrees in high-demand occupations, and the University staff being fully immersed in local communities to develop programs that meet the needs of the region.”

UW-Green Bay saw enrollment increases at all four of its campuses in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. In addition to growing at every corner of the region, the University is also growing across every student-degree path, including area high school students taking college credits in high school, undergraduate students and students seeking master’s degrees.

“We continue to push as hard as we can to make sure UW-Green Bay is right-sized to serve the third largest economic region of Wisconsin,” Chancellor Michael Alexander said. “Our enrollment growth is holistic and supports our view that access to higher education should be available throughout a person’s life. Our faculty and staff deserve enormous credit for the work they did not only to recruit a great incoming class, but also to retain students so well throughout the last year.”

UW-Green Bay’s growth is significant, especially considering the decline in college and University enrollments nationwide.

Alexander acknowledges that the four-campus University still isn’t to the size that it can, or needs to be, to fully serve the region, but the positive enrollment trajectory for a sixth consecutive year indicates the University’s increased alignment with what the area needs and expects from its local public higher education partner.

Here is UW-Green Bay’s current and official enrollment picture:

  • Undergraduate headcount at UW-Green Bay grew 9 percent from one year ago, from 8,513 students to 9,276 (763 students)
  • Graduate enrollment grew 15 percent; from 456 students to 523 (67 students)
  • Total headcount grew 9 percent, from 8,969 to 9,799 (830 students)
  • UW-Green Bay campuses in Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan saw significant growth

-Marinette Campus grew 12% (from 215 to 240 students)
-Manitowoc Campus grew 19% (from 287 to 341 students)
-Sheboygan Campus grew 9% (from 411 to 447 students)

  • The University also saw a 4.5 % increase in enrollment of students of color (from 1,638 to 1,714)
    – 13% growth in Hispanic students (from 607 to 687 students) and 14% growth in biracial/multiracial students (from 304 to 349)
  • Not included in the percentages above is a 63% increase in international students (from 73 to 119 students)

“It is exciting to see that the University’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is being realized through the increased diversity of our student body,” said UW-Green Bay Vice Chancellor for Inclusivity and Student Affairs Corey King. “Our authentic approach to creating pathways for all students to engage in the academy speaks volumes to our continual enrollment growth!”

UW-Green Bay Provost Kate Burns also acknowledged the work by faculty and staff to increase diversity—one of the University’s strategic initiatives.

“While UW-Green Bay continues to grow to meet the needs of our region, we are especially excited to see the increased diversity within our student body, particularly with our Hispanic/Latinx students, which reflects the demographics of our community. We have also seen a significant increase in our international student population and definitely see growth potential in that area in the years ahead.”

Burns also noted the continuing growth in the college credit options for high school students. UW-Green Bay is serving 2,578 high school students through various programs and credit options.

“We are particularly proud of our innovative Rising Phoenix program, which allows students to earn an Associate’s Degree while in high school,” Burns said.

In May of 2021, the University announced that it was expanding its program to target districts in Ashland, Shawano, Wausau, Green Bay and Milwaukee. It was developed in the Manitowoc Public School District and launched in Fall 2020.

The forecast for the future of the University also appears strong, with first-year student admits for the Fall 2022 continuing to trend higher than a year ago.

“We are approaching education differently in Northeast Wisconsin because this is what our region needs to be successful,” Burns added. “We will continue to honor our access mission and provide students from every age a way to achieve their educational goals. It’s exciting to see students seeking opportunities to rise.”

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving 9,276 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 79,604 continuing education enrollees each year across all campus locations. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2020, UW-Green Bay was the fastest growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.



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