Western Oregon University sees first Enrollment Boost in over a Decade

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University announces a momentous boost in overall enrollment, marking the first substantial increase in over a decade. For the fall term of 2023, the university experienced a remarkable five percent rise in overall headcount compared to the same period in 2022, resulting in a total enrollment of 3,951.

Undergraduate enrollment for this fall term reached 3,343, while graduate student enrollment saw a sharp rise of nearly 41 percent in comparison to the previous fall term, totaling 608.

Of equal significance, student retention witnessed a noteworthy increase to 76 percent reflecting a six percent increase in the percentage of students who chose to re-enroll for fall term.

“We are thrilled to report that overall enrollment at Western Oregon University is experiencing an upward trajectory,” said President Jesse Peters. “While acknowledging that we still have work ahead of us, this moment signifies a thrilling milestone for the university.”

Other notable highlights include a seven percent increase in first-generation student enrollment since 2018, now standing at an impressive 48 percent. Furthermore, a substantial 40 percent of undergraduates were awarded Pell grants in 2021-22 indicating their qualification for essential federal student aid—a pivotal factor in their collegiate success and completion.  

The university also celebrates a notable 18 percent increase in first-year students. Additionally, an impressive statistic reveals that more than 80 percent of Western undergraduate students are Oregon residents.

“These remarkable shifts are a testament to the unwavering dedication and tireless efforts of the entire Western community. The collective commitment to supporting students and ensuring their success has yielded these extraordinary results,” shares Peters. “We offer a unique and welcoming educational experience here, and more and more students are starting to see that.”

Western Oregon University is firmly committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for its students and eagerly anticipates further growth and success for the institution.


About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 4,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. Many attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans, or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

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