UW-La Crosse Freshman Numbers Up

Local News

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse reports that their incoming class is much bigger than last year’s, and one of the largest in three decades. UW-La Crosse welcomed two thousand, fifty four first year students this fall, an increase of 74 students compared to last year.

Fox 25/48’s Erin O’Brien tells us what this means for the university.

It’s the biggest class in more than 30 years.

The push for more students is a result of recent budget cuts for the UW system, leaving UW-La Crosse with cuts of about seven million dollars per year.

“These days, with the dramatic cuts in state support we really need the tuition revenue to make everything function.”

But the university says students won’t face any disadvantages coming in with a larger class.

“There’s a lot of things we have to consider in terms of housing and class sizes and that opportunity to
interact with faculty members and advising, and when we look at the University as a whole, our total enrollment is in that area that we want it to be, and so we felt comfortable bringing in a larger class and making sure that they have what they need to be successful students.”

And those UWL students are getting out much faster. Of students entering the university in 2011, 42 percent completed their degree in four years. Compare that to a national average of 33.5 percent.

UWL chancellor Joe Gow attributes the graduation rates to accommodating staff and hardworking students.

“As a matter of fact, I think when they stay longer it’s only because they want to do a double major, or study abroad, or do an internship.”

Graduating in four years is something UW-L junior Laura Berry hopes to do.

“You don’t have to pay another full year of tuition, because tuition’s expensive. Then you just get out, and move on with your life, and keep chasing your goals.”

She plans to attend graduate school for exercise sports medicine and says that it’s been easy staying on track to graduate in four years.

“UW-La Crosse really does try to accommodate and get you the classes you need.”

In La Crosse, Erin O’Brien, Fox 25 48 News at 9.

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