Central Washington University is preparing to welcome 1.960 freshmen to its campus this fall, 300 more than last year.
Central Washington University expects to have its largest freshman class ever this fall.
The Ellensburg university predicts that 1,960 freshmen will arrive on campus, a 19 percent increase from last fall, according to a news release.
“You never know how many are going to show up until they show up, but all the signs are saying we need to get ready,” said Linda Schactler, the university’s vice president of public affairs.
The enrollment rise follows a dip after 2010, the last record-breaking year. Central is also expecting a 13 percent rise in its transfer-student enrollment, the release says.
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Schactler said the dip was likely due to a decrease in the number of high-school graduates in the past few years, plus the fact that tuition had been rising. There were about 2,000 more high-school graduates in Washington in 2015 than there were in 2014.
Schactler said the university is preparing for the increased enrollment by completing residence-hall renovations in the summer or other breaks rather than during the school year.
And the university may not have on-campus housing for returning or transfer students who haven’t yet requested it, said Richard DeShields, associate dean of student living.
This fall, Central will convert a former conference hall into student residences to create 69 additional rooms.
Enrollment at other public universities in Washington has also been increasing. Last fall, a record 1,711 freshmen enrolled at Eastern Washington University.
The University of Washington will welcome its largest ever class of in-state freshman this fall, surpassing its 2006 record by about 40 students.
Western Washington University is projecting a more modest increase in freshman enrollment of about 3 percent, according to communications director Paul Cocke. The university is also predicting a 5 percent decrease in its transfer-student enrollment.