UW opens doors to its biggest freshman class since 1965

There are more freshmen at the University of Washington this fall than there have been since 1965, a sure sign that the population bulge from “baby boomers” having children is now hitting higher education.

For Fall Quarter 1996, there are 4,036 freshmen, the most since 4,373 attended 31 years ago. Overall, the UW has 34,368 students this fall compared to 33,996 last year. The enrollment record was set in 1979 with 37,547.

Extra funds have come from Olympia to meet the growing demand for higher education, and the UW has stepped up to increase both freshman and transfer openings, says Executive Director of Admissions and Records W.W. “Tim” Washburn. This year there are 335 more freshmen and about 100 more transfer students than last year.

Even though there are so many more freshmen, Washburn notes that “the quality as far as the high school G.P.A. and SAT scores are similar to last year.” The average high school G.P.A. for entering freshmen this year is 3.61. “More resident high school seniors apply to the UW than to any other public institution in the state,” he adds, “and we enroll more National Merit Scholars than any other state campus.”

This year there are 25,228 undergraduates, 7,661 graduate students and 1,479 students in professional schools such as law, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.

UW campuses in Tacoma and Bothell saw record growth. UW Tacoma has 999 students this fall, which is exactly 200 more than last year. UW Bothell has 910 students, a jump from 772 in 1995. Both campuses offer classes at the junior and senior level plus graduate-level degrees.

The UW minority enrollment grew moderately, with 26.9 percent of the students coming from diverse backgrounds compared to 25.1 percent in 1995. The breakdown is 18.6 percent Asian American, 3.6 percent Hispanic American, 3.1 percent African American and 1.5 percent Native American.

State residents make up most of the freshman class, with 3,444 coming from Washington. The UW had applications from 7,778 residents and made offers to 6,519—an acceptance rate of 84 percent.

It was much tougher for non-residents to get into the UW; only 592 enrolled as freshmen this fall. There were 5,096 applications from non-residents and the UW made offers to 2,300—an acceptance rate of 45%.