After working towards lofty enrollment goals as part of their five-year strategic plan, the University of Wyoming has increased enrollment at the university for the fall 2017 semester.

UW says census data collected on the 15th day of classes showed 1,696 new freshmen students, which was an increase of 145 students, or 9.3 percent, from last fall. Transfer student enrollment increased as well – 1,086 transfer students enrolled, up by 119 or 12.3 percent.

University officials anticipated the enrollment increase before classes began by using class registration and student confirmations, but could not be certain of the number until after census day, on the 15th day of classes, when the drop/add deadline is past and fee payment is due.

The increase in freshman and transfer students was not expected to boost overall enrollment significantly, as the university just saw its largest graduating class last year. Overall enrollment did increase slightly, however, as a total 12,397 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled at the university this fall, compared with 12,366 last fall.

Kyle Moore, associate vice provost for enrollment management at UW, said the university’s many initiatives to increase enrollment are part of the reason for the rise in enrollment.

“UW ramped up its marketing and recruitment efforts; faculty and staff across campus engaged in student recruitment activities; and even alumni across the state and region joined in by writing letters to prospective students,” Moore says in a statement.  “It’s this kind of collaborative effort and pride that sends a clear message to students that UW is serious about each student’s success.”

Moore said while the university did not welcome it's largest-ever freshman class like it had anticipated - they were one student short- the nine percent increase in one year was certainly significant.

Fall-to-fall retention rates are another reason for the increase. The university saw 78.1 percent of first-time freshmen in the fall of 2016 return to UW this fall semester, a record number and also the fifth straight year the retention rate rose. Increasing student retention rates was also a goal in the strategic plan.