Something is going on at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and it runs contrary to local and national trends.  While the majority of colleges and universities across the nation - including the three "other" big schools in the Twin Ports - have seen enrollment numbers drop over the last year, enrollment at UWS is up from 2020.

Additionally, that positive growth in enrollment for UWS is part of a general pattern for the university of steady enrollment numbers, even as local trends have seen a general trend downwards for the remaining schools (University of Minnesota-Duluth, Saint Scholastica, and Lake Superior College).

According to data shared by the Superior Telegram, UWS is on track to have positive enrollment growth for 2021:

"By more than one measure, the University of Wisconsin-Superior, the smallest of the four schools [locally], has proven to stand apart from regional and national trends.  The school's enrollment total increased by nearly 1% this year to about 2,580 students, just shy of where that number stood in 2019."

At the same time, UWS has "Managed to continue enrolling a student body that's made up of 45% first-generation students".

In contrast, UMD, St, Scholastica, and Lake Superior College each saw a slide in enrollment numbers over the last year.  For some of those institutions, that decrease is an overall general trend that started around five years ago. Here's a general breakdown of the four schools, with numbers from the last five years:

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth


  • 2021: 2582
  • 2020: 2559
  • 2019: 2608
  • 2018: 2601
  • 2017: 2590
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth


  • 2021: 9884
  • 2020: 10275
  • 2019: 10858
  • 2018: 11040
  • 2017: 11168
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

St. Scholastica

  • 2021: 3512
  • 2020: 3735
  • 2019: 3906
  • 2018: 4043
  • 2017: 4235
Lake Superior College campus in Duluth, MN
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Lake Superior College

  • 2021: 2774
  • 2020: 3096
  • 2019: 3122
  • 2018: 3146
  • 2017: 3160

Whether enrollment is up or down at the four schools, one a variety of common factors is driving those numbers.  High demand for labor in the current job market and the trend towards employers paying higher-than-usual wages to attract employees has had a definite affect on college enrollment numbers. According to Lake Superior College spokesperson Daniel Fanning:

"Some of those students who just weren't quite sure if they wanted to do the online courses or not, or just weren't sure with some of the uncertainty, a lot of them are taking that gap year, which has turned into a couple gap years.  Some of them are working for $15-20 an hour because that's kind of the going wage right now."

Many of the students who do choose college are doing do part time; balancing work and school at the same time.  "At least 70% of the college's students attend part time, which is higher than usual".

Wow! Inside The Most Colorful Home In Wisconsin

Want to feel like you're living in the clouds? This Waukesha, Wisconsin condo for sale can be all yours for just under $400,000 bucks!

Signs That Summer Is Over In The Minnesota + Wisconsin

Just as fast as it arrives - it's over. But what defines its end point?

People who live in the Midwest have come to fully-appreciate and embrace the four seasons. Spring, summer, fall, winter - each have their highlights. That's why we're always so sad to see each one end. Or are we?

Forget the calendar. Here are the true signs that the summer season is over for folks who live in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Apostle Islands Area Campground Bayfield Photos & Review

We recently enjoyed a weekend in Bayfield, Wisconsin and camped at the Apostle Islands Area Campground just outside of town. Here's what we thought of the place, and some helpful information.

CHECK THEM OUT: 100 years of Christmas toys, gifts and fads


More From KOOL 101.7