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The University of West Florida started off the fall semester with a big milestone.

University officials announced today that UWF has surpassed 13,000 in enrollment for the first time in the institution’s history, reaching 13,030 students for the Fall 2016 semester.

“We have a lot to be excited about as we start the fall semester, and this news adds to that excitement,” said UWF President Dr. Judith Bense. “I am proud that we’ve reached this milestone, as it shows we are becoming a first-choice university. Enrollment is dropping at many mid-sized public and private universities, but we are growing and thriving. The future is bright at UWF.”

UWF reached 10,000 in enrollment in 2008 and 12,000 in 2012. The growth has been steady in recent years, reaching 12,416 in 2014 and 12,603 in 2015.

“We have added a number of new programs to meet student demand and regional workforce needs,” added Dr. Martha Saunders, executive vice president and provost. “Our cybersecurity, supply chain logistics and online programs have generated a great deal of enthusiasm. Combine that with the finest faculty on the planet, and we have a winning combination for a great academic year.”

Graduate students accounted for the largest growth entering Fall 2016. The total graduate student headcount increased by approximately 20 percent compared to Fall 2015.

Additionally, sophomore undergraduate students increased by approximately 15 percent for Fall 2016. The increase in sophomores is a direct result of the University’s increased focus on student retention.

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