students walk across the senior lake bridge during the Ivy Ceremony

William Woods University set to welcome the largest class of incoming new students in its history

456 new undergraduate students, including 298 on campus and 158 online, also make 2022 and 2023 the largest two years of growth ever at WWU

Continuing to buck the national trend in higher education enrollment, William Woods University(WWU) will welcome the largest class of incoming new undergraduate students in its history when classes for the Fall 2023 semester begin on Monday, August 21. Coupled with last Fall’s increase of 40 percent in new students enrolled, new student undergraduate enrollment in 2022 and 2023 now also constitutes the largest two-year growth period in the University’s 153-year history.

298 new students will begin New Student Orientation today on campus, joining another 158 who are enrolling online, with classes beginning on Monday. And while together the 456 new undergraduate students make 2023 the largest incoming class to enroll at the University, the numbers may grow yet – new enrollees to The Woods will be accepted until the end of the first week of classes, on Friday, August 25.

“We are thrilled to welcome another outstanding class of new students to The Woods, the largest in the history of the University, and are excited about the strength and growth we are seeing in both our residential and online degree programs,” said Dr. Jeremy Moreland, President of William Woods. “Our mission of providing a student-centered, professions-oriented, personal college experience here at William Woods, continues to resonate in a big way with both prospective students and their families.”

According to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, undergraduate enrollment dropped 1.1 percent nationally during the Fall 2022 semester, and is now down 3.4 percent since 2020. Missouri was one of 27 states nationally that saw the steepest decline, down between 4.3 to 5.2 percent in the past year


The incoming class includes students from 18 nations (up from 11 one year ago), 33 U.S. states and represents an increase of students of color by 140 percent.

 “At William Woods, we are committed to meeting the educational needs of both the traditional, on-campus student and the working professional who wants to finish their degree or further their career online, a mission that is critical for higher education in 2023,” said President Moreland. “Given the impressive, record class that is enrolling at The Woods for the Fall semester, it is clear that that mission is appealing to an ever-growing number of prospective students.”

The growth in enrollment at The Woods comes after the University has continued to make new investments in initiatives both inside and outside the classroom. In the past year, WWU has increased academic offerings, highlighted by the establishment of the first-ever Ph.D. program in University history, the Doctorate of Philosophy in Leadership; increased its online offerings for working professionals with the creation of William Woods Global; and has significantly grown its athletic department, adding seven new intercollegiate sports highlighted by the addition of football for the first time in the University’s 153-year existence.