(WQOW)- Another school year is upon us, and the enrollment roller coasters continue at local UW campuses.
UW-Stout is facing lower enrollment for the second year in a row, after a record increase in 2016. Officials estimate student enrollment is down 6 percent from last year’s numbers.
To improve, the university has hired new staff to communicate more with prospective students. It’s also increasing digital and physical marketing to attract more students.
"We think we have, as I’ve said before, a very good value proposition," UW-Stout Executive Director of University Communications and External Relations, Doug Mell said. "We have a 98.2 percent employment rate, great facilities. We have great instructors, and programs that employers really seek graduates for once they leave here, so it’s just a matter of getting the word out."
While UW-Stout’s numbers may be falling, UW-Eau Claire’s numbers have continued to rise.
UW-Eau Claire admissions staff say they have enrolled about 200 new students for the upcoming school year, including nearly 40 new transfer students.
Officials add the number of incoming freshmen is nearly identical to last year’s numbers.
School officials say growing enrollment can be attributed to collaboration with all departments to give students what they want, like newer facilities, better residence halls, and more diverse experiences.
"A lot of our outreach, our recruitment, and our efforts that way have helped to both make sure our incoming classes for transfer and freshmen are stable an strong," UW-Eau Claire Director of Admissions, Heather Kretz said. "Really focusing inward on retention, making sure that the students we bring in are supported and have the experiences they expect to have when they choose UW-Eau Claire."
Both UW-Stout and UW-Eau Claire will begin the fall semester Wednesday, September 5.