WSU Tri-Cities Hoping to Increase Freshman Enrollment - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WSU Tri-Cities Hoping to Increase Freshman Enrollment

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RICHLAND, Wash-- The first day of class was Monday for students at WSU Tri-Cities. This is the second year freshman were able to enroll. School officials say they expect the class size to grow.

There are 90 new freshman this year and they all get free laptops donated by Lockheed Martin. They expect the class to increase by the end of the week. 

Last year there were more than 100 freshman. Along with laptops those students were given $3,000 scholarships. 

"The initial thought was perhaps about 50 new freshman and of course our first year we had more than double the number that we had hoped for and this year the same is true again," said Vickie Carwein, Chancellor of WSU Tri-Cities.

The college is starting to attract students from Western Washington who find it financially appealing.

"I love the area it's really convenient, the cost of living is really low here which makes it perfect for me, low cost of living, state tuition, that's why i'm here," said Chris Linderman, Nursing Student at WSU Tri-Cities.

It's not a traditional residential campus, which causes some class retention concerns, but 76 percent of last year's freshman have enrolled again.

"We're seeing some of our courses actually increasing in class size because the demand is so great to accommodate students who are qualified to enter," said Carwein.

New programs this year include a biofuel laboratory. They are hiring 10 new faculty members who will conduct bio-based research partnering with PNNL.

"You have the resources of a bigger university. People are able to broadcast in and teach a class live," said Linderman.

If you want to be part of this year's freshman class you have 8 days left to sign up for classes.