- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - About 100 more students will attend the University of Wyoming this fall than last year, but the added enrollment could pose a problem for some departments.

Alyson Hagy, associate vice president of undergraduate education, said the university could handle about 75 more students in fall 2015 if they didn’t cluster in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields.

“We’re getting near 100 students, and they’re clustering around STEM,” Hagy said.

However, the college or Arts and Sciences is still the most-attended college in the university, more than doubling the student population of any other one college with 33 percent of UW’s total enrollment.

Nearly all students need to take at least one English class during their college career, Hagy said. The UW math department is similar to the English department, as some sort of math class is required in almost every major.

“We won’t get really far if math and English don’t get the faculty to do what they need to do,” she said.

While the enrollment increase is difficult for certain parts of the university to keep up with, it shows other areas of the institution are working well, Hagy told the Laramie Boomerang (https://bit.ly/1gEND9c ).

“We’re thrilled our eight-nine months of strategy on recruiting gets results like this,” she said. “We look really good to students, and they want to hear about it. It’s a great problem to have.”

More students could also increase the university’s budgetary burden, Hagy said, because of its reliance on state funding. UW students who are in-state residents pay about $4,400 per year for their education. The remaining approximately $9,000 usually comes from a block grant received from the state.

“If we add 100 students, or 300 or 500, the tuition they would bring in would not begin to cover the cost of their education,” Hagy said.

Average instructional cost per student is $13,902, which is in line with rates for similar universities.

Fifty other public research universities receive 27 percent of their revenue from tuition and fees. UW receives 9 percent of its revenue from tuition and fees. Other universities average to get 18 percent of its revenue from state appropriations, while UW receives 42 percent from the state.

“All public institutions subsidize their students, and they should,” Hagy said. “That’s our mission, we’re not profit-makers.”

However, she acknowledged that a higher-than-average level of state funding, while great for the university, could eventually leave UW in a tough spot if funding to certain areas remain flat as enrollment increases

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Information from: Laramie Boomerang, https://www.laramieboomerang.com

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