WOU enrolls its most diverse class of new students

Western Oregon University welcomes the fall 2016 entering class of freshmen and transfer students – its most culturally diverse in the 160-year history of the Oregon’s oldest public university.

WOU President Rex Fuller said, “Western Oregon University’s strengths are many, and are all focused around our mission of educating each student in a manner that prepares them for success in the classroom and as alumni. The significance of this entering class of students being so diverse cannot be understated. It means that WOU continues to serve the needs of all of Oregon’s communities through remaining accessible and affordable.”

Highlights of the new freshman class include:

Ethnic group Percent of entering class
African American 4.9
American Indian/Alaskan Native 1.2
Asian American 5.0
Latino 20.2
Pacific Islander 4.3
White 60.8
Other 3.5

WOU’s priority in serving the state of Oregon was reflected by the fact that nearly three-quarters (73.2 percent) of new freshmen and 90 percent of transfer students were Oregon residents. In addition, slightly more than half (51.5 percent) of new students indicated they were the first in their family to attend college.

While the number of new freshmen students declined slightly from fall 2015, the number of transfer students increased by three percent. The transfer students arrived from 14 of the 17 Oregon community colleges and all six other public universities in Oregon. Forty-eight students from the Willamette Promise, a regional collaboration with Oregon high schools where students earn college credit, enrolled at WOU. Overall, enrollment at WOU was slightly higher than fall 2015.

“Western Oregon University’s success in enrolling and graduating students from all economic and cultural backgrounds is a point of great institutional pride and reflects the quality of teaching, mentoring, and support that all students receive. The fall 2016 class is a strong reflection of the growing diversity of Oregon,” David McDonald, associate provost, said.