A strong return to in-person learning at UW Bothell

On Sept. 29, after 18 months of quarantine, the University of Washington Bothell welcomed its second-largest class of incoming students. The class includes 900 first-year students and 624 new transfer students.

With returning students, UW Bothell has a student body of 6,069 for autumn quarter 2020 — 5,471 undergraduates plus 598 graduate students. That compares with 6,326 in autumn quarter of 2020 — the largest in the campus’s history — and 5,936 in autumn quarter of 2019.

UW Bothell Chancellor Kristin Esterberg

UW Bothell Chancellor Kristin Esterberg

Dr. Kristin Esterberg, whose first day as the new chancellor of UW Bothell was October 1, said the strong return to campus demonstrates the strength of UW Bothell’s programs and the importance of higher education for our students and our community. “People want to be educated, students need to learn,” said Chancellor Esterberg. “It is the foundation for a successful and significant future. The pandemic changed the way we taught and learned, but it could not change that fundamental need.”

Some other figures from the University’s census at the start of the 2021-22 academic year:

Forty percent of incoming first-year students and 41% of new incoming transfer students will be the first in their immediate families to graduate from a four-year institution. Twenty-eight percent of incoming first-year students and 32% of new incoming transfer students are eligible for Pell Grants, the federal aid program for low-income families.

Looking at the student population by race, ethnicity or background, approximately 33% self-identify as white, 33% Asian, 10% Hispanic or Latino, 8% Black or African American, 6% two or more races, less than 1% American Indian or Alaska Native, less than 1% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and 7% are international students here on a visa.

A sociologist by training, Esterberg said the emphasis on equity and social justice was an important factor in her decision to lead UW Bothell. “Through my many conversations across campus prior to coming here, it was clear to me that students from all backgrounds are valued, welcomed and included,” Esterberg said. “Strengthening diversity and equity has been a pillar of UW Bothell for many years, and we are well poised to expand that work.”

An aerial shot of UW Bothell campus

Nearly 7% of all students are eligible for veteran’s benefits, a group that includes spouses and children of veterans.

Among all students at UW Bothell, 91% percent are Washington residents, 56% are King County residents and 27% are Snohomish County residents.

About 28% of UW Bothell students are first-year or pre-major students. Those who have declared majors break out as follows: 28% are in the School of STEM, 16% in the School of Business,16% in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, 8% in the School of Nursing & Health Studies and 4% in the School of Educational Studies.

The average class size is 30 for undergraduate students and 20 for graduate students. The University has 369 faculty members and 338 staff.

“The beauty of a small campus community is that we get to know and care for students deeply,” Esterberg said. “That was evident even in the virtual environment, and now, with the lessons we learned over the past 18 months, we are beginning the new year stronger than ever in our commitment to student success.”


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