UW fall enrollment at record high; state funding picture looks stable

Oct 9, 2012 The Associated Press

LARAMIE -- Preliminary numbers show fall enrollment at the University of Wyoming has exceeded 13,000 students.

It is the highest start-of-semester enrollment in UW history.

When UW Outreach School enrollments are recorded later, UW officials estimate the total fall enrollment will approach 14,000 by the end of the semester.

Last fall's enrollment total was a record 13,992.

This year's preliminary enrollment figures are an increase of about 200 students from 2011 fall semester thanks to more nonresident and international students. In addition, more freshmen advanced to their sophomore year.

Wyoming residents make up 71 percent of the UW student population.

Wyoming is among just a handful of states that haven't been cutting funding at their public research universities over the past decade, according to a new report.

Only seven states didn't cut funding to their public research universities between 2002 and 2010. In Wyoming, funding increased 62 percent per student over that eight-year period and, in 2010, the state led the U.S. with nearly $17,000 a year in funding per student, according to the report by the National Science Board.

State budget surpluses resulting from a boom in natural gas drilling boosted funding for the state's only four-year public university. This year, the university is facing budget reductions of up to 8 percent due to weak gas prices.

Still, the university remains in pretty good shape.

The state's basic contribution to UW increased from $100 million to $195 million per year over the past decade.

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