MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin System is seeing the highest number of new student enrollments since before the COVID-19 pandemic seized the state. System officials released preliminary estimates Thursday that show 26,442 first-year students, including freshmen and first-year transfers, were enrolled as of the first day of classes this fall. That compares to 25,602 in 2018; 25,937 in 2019; 24,407 in 2020; and 25,869 last year. Overall enrollment, however, was 161,430, down about 1% from 162,980 last fall. The system has seen overall enrollment drop in recent years due to fewer high school graduates and uncertainty created by the pandemic.
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