How low enrollment is impacting the UW Tacoma’s campus

UW Tacoma is among one of the campuses experiencing no growth enrollment and will have to readjust to the budget deficit as student programs and activities are being impacted by it.

Given COVID-19’s unprecedented shutdown and closures of schools nationwide and abroad, higher education has without a doubt also experienced lasting impacts. On July 7, 2022 the Chancellor, Sheila Edwards Lange released a statement about the 2022-23 budget deficit requiring continued expense reduction. 

“We still have ongoing budget issues due to the underlying gap between revenues and expenses,” said Chancellor Lange in regards to tackling the same $5 million gap, “The Office of Planning & Budget on the Seattle campus is anticipating no enrollment growth for UW Tacoma this Autumn.” 

As reported by the Office of Registrar the 2021 autumn quarter began with 5,027 students enrolled and dropped to 4,527 for the spring quarter of 2022, a decline of 500 students. 

“Low enrollment is not a trend exclusive to UW Tacoma, it’s a trend we’re seeing in colleges and universities nationally,” said Shannon Carr, Vice Chancellor of Student Enrollment. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, in the U.S. undergraduate enrollment has declined by 4.7% from spring 2021. 

In efforts to improve student enrollment, Student Affairs will begin strategic enrollment planning in november. 

“Strategic enrollment planning is a data-informed process that will align university resources to ensure our long-term enrollment success and fiscal health,” said Carr.

In addition to Strategic Enrollment Planning, there will be a shift to focused digital and electronic outreach, as well as joining the Common Application. 

“Schools who have joined see an increase in applicants; Since all three UW campuses are using the Common App students will have an easier way of understanding the application process,” said Carr. 

Due to low enrollment programs and activities have faced cuts based on fee money that was expected to be available from projected enrollments. Among one of the student programs and activities facing cuts is the campus newspaper, The Tacoma Ledger, the paper now prints in black and white and is no longer completely in color. 

Axel Dominguez, a sophomore studying communications, noticed the color difference in the paper and questioned the odd change. 

“The fact that low enrollment is impacting how the paper is produced is crazy,” Dominguez said.