First week of 2019 fall semester classes yields enrollment gains at William Woods University

Increase again seen in evening and online students; total enrollment  stands at 2,168

William Woods University (WWU) once again saw a significant increase in the number of evening and online students enrolled when classes began for the 2019 fall semester earlier this week, bringing the university’s total enrollment (undergraduate, evening and online students) to 2,168 students. 

The university welcomed 958 new evening and online students, up five percent from a year ago (912). Along with 236 new incoming undergraduate and transfer students, William Woods’ total enrollment continued to move in a positive direction, bucking the national trend for small, private colleges and universities across the nation. Overall, total enrollment has now increased by more than 300% since 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. “As we get ready to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the university in 2020, our continued enrollment gains provide us with another example or 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 early 1990’s, long before most institutions similar to WWU were doing so; moving the university to co-ed status; strengthening the institution’s nationally acclaimed Equestrian Science program and establishing unique, niche degree programs such as American Sign Language, Cybersecurity and a Master of Health Administration.

The tremendous progress the university has made over the past quarter-century has not gone unnoticed. For the past nine years, William Woods has enjoyed a top 100 ranking from the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges’ listing of 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.” This fall’s incoming class at William Woods comes from 25 U.S. states and 11 foreign countries, and includes 17 students from Missouri Military Academy taking courses at WWU for the first time.  It also includes an average grade point average of 3.41. And interest in WWU has never been higher – visits to campus by prospective students reached 862 during the 2018-2019 school year, up four percent from 2017-2018 when there were 828.