ELLENSBURG, WA — Central Washington University enrolled 3 percent more new undergraduate students than last year, a record high for the university. First-year, new student enrollment of 2,128 actually set a university record, eclipsing the previous high-water mark set in 2017.
New student enrollment increased from 3,260 to 3,348. Overall enrollment was up slightly statewide, 12,257 compared to 12,127 from the same time a year ago. Washington residents comprise about 91 percent of the university’s student body.
CWU’s “overall” enrollment includes undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students taking classes at CWU's residential campus in Ellensburg, six University Centers—including CWU-Yakima at Yakima Valley College, and teaching sites at Joint Base Lewis McChord and in Sammamish. It also includes state-funded Running Start students who take their classes in Ellensburg and at CWU-Sammamish, along with students taking classes online.
Owing to CWU’s welcoming reputation, students from traditionally underrepresented student populations comprised 34 percent of new students this year, up 2 percent from last year; first-generation students making up just under 44 percent of the total.
For the first time in school history, students of color—at 52 percent— represented the majority of applicants for first-year admission to CWU, with the number of transfer and first-year applicants combined making up half of all admission applicants.
CWU’s enrollment total does not factor in secondary students who take college-level courses in their high schools throughout College in the High School or CWU's "Cornerstone" programs. However, it should be noted that the university is the state's top provider of baccalaureate content in high schools with more than 3,000 students enrolled in these programs statewide.