UW official: Cooped up year helps spark big freshman numbers

A school official says the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s record freshman enrollment this fall is due in part to pent-up demand among high school graduates who spent much of last year taking classes online.

Nearly 8,500 new freshmen enrolled at the state’s largest public university earlier this month. That’s up 12% and nearly 1,000 freshmen from the previous record set in fall 2019.

UW-Madison Provost Karl Scholz says in addition to the interest from students who navigated through COVID-19 protocols, the university’s reputation and standing were factors in the record numbers. The school says that nearly 3,900 students, or about 46% of the freshman class, are Wisconsin residents. Scholz says that’s the most in 20 years.