The University of Washington will break a record this year with the number of incoming freshmen it will accept. Meanwhile, things continue to look grim for nearby Evergreen State College, with winter admissions numbers expected to be off by nearly 40 percent. From the Seattle Times:
The University of Washington will welcome the largest freshman class in the university’s history on two of its three campuses, driven in large part by a record-setting number of in-state and out-of-state students who applied last fall, and then accepted an offer of admission.
That growth is running counter to a national trend. Across the country, the number of students pursing a bachelor’s degree has been on the decline in recent years, although most of Washington’s public colleges and universities have seen slight upticks in growth.
“The university is rolling, Seattle is a dynamic city and the Pacific Northwest is an attractive place to be,” said Philip Ballinger, the university’s associate vice provost for enrollment management. “It’s all coming together in a marvelous way.”
Things are not all coming together in a marvelous way for Evergreen State College. My Northwest reports the school is still expecting an 18.5% enrollment drop this fall with a further drop in the winter:
Between fall 2017 and fall 2018, Evergreen’s enrollment dropped by 18.5 percent — going from 3,800 to 3,100. Winter 2018 enrollment is estimated to be down 38 percent. Part of the problem is the loss of out-of-state students, down by 23 percent from the previous year. The school can charge more tuition for those students. This low point is the culmination of a downward trend that began in 2009 when the school hit a high of 4,596 students.
That 18.5% figure is actually an estimate the school’s president put out back in February as a worst-case scenario. In response, the school began planning for a 10% budget cut which means layoffs and setting aside plans to rebuild dorms on campus. But in May there was a report from the Wall Street Journal stating that the actual enrollment decline for the fall was running at 20 percent. The school was hoping that some last minute deciders would improve things a bit but there was no guarantee. The fact that winter enrollment is down nearly 40% suggests this enrollment crisis is still getting worse rather than leveling out.
So it seems the Mizzou Effect is real at Evergreen State College. One of the things the school has said to explain its decline is that out-of-state enrollment is down everywhere. That’s true for the most part, but as the example of the University of Washington proves, there are exceptions to that decline, even locally. This week Evergreen put out a press release touting its inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges:
In the guide, Fiske highlights some of the unique aspects of Evergreen that make it such a special place. “Evergreen remains one of the best choices for students who see traditional academic structures as too restrictive,” it states. “Freed from requirements and grades, Greeners delight in exploring the connections between disparate disciplines at their own pace.”…
As one student interviewed by Fiske said, “here you can truly be whoever you want to be.”
Anyone who watched the videos of what happened on campus last spring knows that isn’t true. You can be whoever you want to be at Evergreen so long as that identity is approved by the social justice mob that has the run of the place. Evergreen State College is apparently going to learn the hard way that there is a price to pay for giving in to that mob. Here’s a reminder with plenty of NSFW language.