Clarification on Enrollment

President LeBlanc and Provost Blake provide an update on GW enrollment after recent inaccurate news reporting.

September 15, 2020

Dear GW Community,

In response to recent inaccurate news reporting about our enrollment, we felt it was important to provide some clarification to our campus community.

During Friday’s Faculty Senate meeting, President LeBlanc provided an update on fiscal planning and budget mitigation efforts where he mentioned a target used in budget planning of 10,126 undergraduate students, which includes full time, traditional undergraduate students on the Foggy Bottom campus. As part of describing the current annualized estimated budget impact, President LeBlanc noted we were about 1,000 students below this budget planning target. To be clear, these numbers were estimates for budget planning, not overall enrollment numbers, which include a broader population of non-traditional students, such as nursing students on our Virginia Science and Technology Campus, students in programs that were online pre-pandemic, and part-time students.

Later in that meeting, Provost Blake provided an update on current overall enrollment numbers, noting that the total undergraduate enrollment is down 7.2 percent. As of the first day of class, the total undergraduate enrollment is 11,097, down from 11,953 on the first day of class last year.

Media reports have mixed budget projections and official enrollment numbers and created an inaccurate impression of our enrollment, comparing our official, reported enrollment at last year’s October census to the budget target cited by President LeBlanc. This is an apples to oranges comparison. Next month, when we conduct our census, our official enrollment count that is reported to the U.S. Department of Education, we will be able to provide a true apples to apples comparison to last year’s enrollment.

It is important to note that we are in a fluid situation with the pandemic and the final numbers at census will likely vary from these numbers. We will report the final fall enrollment numbers to our community following next month’s census.


Thomas J. LeBlanc, President
M. Brian Blake, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

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