UW System first-day enrollment for 2020 fall semester shows decrease of 1% compared to 2019

A University of Wisconsin logo etched in stone

MADISON, Wis. — First day enrollment figures for the University of Wisconsin System’s fall semester show a 1% decline in enrollment compared to the fall 2019 semester.

UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson shard the figures Thursday afternoon. In total, nearly 126,000 students enrolled at the universities that started on-campus instruction on Wednesday. UW System officials said the numbers are unofficial. Officials also said the numbers are fluid due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Three universities have yet to begin on-campus, according to a release. UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stout begin instruction next week.

“The enrollment numbers show students are eager to return to campus and resume or begin their studies,” Thompson said. “The on-campus experience is the right thing for the University of Wisconsin, and our students agree.”

According to a news release, first-day enrollment typically makes up roughly 95% of enrollment in a semester. The remaining 5% enroll after the first day of classes. Thompson said first-day enrollment figures for 2020 should not be compared to final enrollment numbers for the 2019 fall semester.

“These enrollment numbers are very encouraging,” President of the Board of Regents Andrew S. Petersen said. “I want to thank our students for having faith in us and our faculty and staff for their hard work over the summer and what we know will be an unconventional semester.”

Official enrollment statistics will be collected later this month and released at a later date.