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UW-Eau Claire Continues to Attract and Retain Bright Students

RELEASED: Sept. 2, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire continues to be a popular choice for talented students in the Midwest, with 10,900 students enrolled for the fall 2009 semester. That number includes 2,000 incoming freshmen selected from 7,400 applicants, 550 transfer students and 500 graduate students.

"That's an increase of about 180 students from this same time last year," said Kristina Anderson, director of Admissions. "That increase in enrollment can be chalked up to a higher retention rate among continuing students."

The average ACT score for the incoming freshman class is 24.5, well above the average for both Wisconsin and Minnesota, with about 20 percent of the students coming from the top 10 percent of their high school classes and 66 percent coming from the top 30 percent of their classes.

"UW-Eau Claire continues to be a first-choice institution for talented, energetic students," Anderson said. "This freshman class brings a wealth of talent. They have been engaged learners and they have been active in their schools and communities. We are very excited to welcome them to campus."

The class includes three National Merit Scholars and one semifinalist. One hundred of the new students will join the University Honors program, bringing the total honor student population to a little more than 400. Forty-nine percent of students are arriving with college credits from advance placement tests or college-level classes, and 27 students will begin the fall having already attained sophomore standing — 17 more than last year. Four freshmen will begin with junior status.

"While the number of students who took college level work increased only slightly, the number of credits they earned increased dramatically," said Debbie Gough, director of Advising and New Student Initiatives.

The incoming class also continues to increase in diversity, with 129 freshman of color beginning this fall, as compared with 108 at this time last year and 113 in 2007.

Perhaps in response to the economy, the number of freshmen commuting to school this year has increased to 9.4 percent from 7.3 percent last year.

-30-

NW/KH

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