With enrollment trending down at many UW Systems schools, UW-Green Bay is seeing its 5th consecutive year of growth. Local 5 spoke with students to learn why they are choosing the Green Bay university.
When Abbie Wagaman visited the UW-Green Bay campus searching for a college, she immediately knew she’d found a good fit.
“I just fell in love with the campus. I didn’t even tour anywhere else,” Wagaman said.
And one big selling point was the short distance from her home in Sheboygan.
“It’s not too far of a drive and it’s definitely a plus as opposed to going somewhere far away like Madison or La Crosse.
Over 7,200 students are enrolled at UWGB this fall and 93 percent are Wisconsin residents. Nearly a third of them are from Brown County, 600 more than last year who chose to stay close to home.
“It’s a great school, the professors, the class sizes are small,” said student Spencer Juchniewich.
“We’re attracting the students because of the programming we have to offer and we also have the vibrant campus life that students want to spend four years getting a degree at UWGB,” said Director of Admissions, Jennifer Jones.
Jones says students pick UWGB because the school has added over a dozen academic programs in the past five years, like Mechanical Engineering and Nursing. Jones says students leave with little debt and 55 percent of students get hired before they graduate.
“We’re trying to meet the needs of this region because we know that’s how you grow,” Jones said.
Statewide just seven of the system’s 26 campuses saw enrollment growth over last year. Jones thinks UWGB is growing because it’s not too big and not too small.
“Students like being a person. They like the faculty and staff to know who they are and care about their individual success,” Jones said.
And for students like Wagaman, it is an affordable education they can earn in their own backyard.
Jones says 87 percent of UWGB graduates stay in the state while building their careers.