First week of 2018 fall semester classes yields enrollment gains at William Woods University

Increase seen in evening and online students; total enrollment surpasses 2,200


William Woods University (WWU) saw a significant increase in the number of graduate and online students enrolled when classes began for the 2018 fall semester earlier this week, bringing the university’s total enrollment (undergraduate, graduate and online students) to 2,227 students.

The university welcomed 912 new online and evening students, up seven percent from a year ago (858). Along with 255 new incoming undergraduate and transfer students, William Woods’ total enrollment has now increased by more than 300% since President Jahnae H. Barnett became president in April of 1990.

“Our ongoing commitment to innovation, change and vision is what has allowed William Woods to become the modern, professions-oriented university it is today,” said President Barnett. “Today, the first week of classes in our 148th year, is another example of our strength and vitality as an institution,” she said.

Under President Barnett’s leadership, William Woods has instituted a series of bold initiatives that have moved the university forward at a time when many of its higher education peers face enrollment and financial challenges. These initiatives included adding graduate and online courses in the mid-1990’s, long before most institutions similar to WWU were doing so.

The tradition of innovation and growth continues today; yesterday, the university became the first private university in the state of Missouri to announce the establishment of the Show-Me GOLD Program, a prestigious program that trains and prepares students to become commissioned officers in the Missouri Army National Guard, on its campus. And in just the past year, William Woods added four new academic degrees of study, including in-demand majors like Nursing and Cybersecurity.

The tremendous progress the university has made over the past quarter-century has not gone unnoticed, as William Woods currently enjoys the highest ranking it has ever received from the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges list – 75th among Midwest regional universities, a category that covers 12 states and hundreds of colleges and universities.

“We are especially proud of the quality of students we continue to enroll,” said President Barnett. “Our continued progress – from both a financial and an enrollment perspective – is a strong indicator of our health as a university.”

New students at William Woods this fall come from 20 U.S. states and 12 foreign countries. And interest in WWU has never been higher – visits to campus by prospective students reached 480 during the 2017-2018 school year, up significantly from 2016-2017 when there were 338.