University of Washington Bothell campus (UW Bothell)

University of Washington Bothell campus (UW Bothell)

What draws so many Snohomish County students to UW Bothell?

Lynnwood, Everett and Mill Creek students account for much of the school’s growing enrollment.

BOTHELL — More than one in four students at University of Washington Bothell this fall comes from Snohomish County, and Henry M. Jackson High in Mill Creek remains its top feeder school, according to enrollment records.

The campus is just south of the Snohomish County line. Students from Lynnwood and Everett make up 13 percent of the UW-Bothell student body. In all, Snohomish County students account for 27 percent of the enrollment. That percentage has fluctuated between 26 and 33 percent over the past seven years.

There are 5,370 undergraduates and 625 graduate students enrolled at UW Bothell this fall.

Enrollment of undergraduate and graduate students has been on a steady rise. This year’s total head count is 5,995. Two years ago, that number was 5,279.

Leah Shin, a junior who graduated from Jackson High School, is part of the growing student body. She’s a double major in business, marketing and technology innovation management as well as interactive media design. She’s also vice president for student government and works two jobs.

The campus is a 15-minute drive from the home where she grew up. She checked out several in-state universities but chose Bothell because it felt intimate and she thought she could forge close relationships with fellow students and professors. The average class size is 29 for undergraduates and 17 for graduate students.

“I was just drawn to UW Bothell,” she said.

Despite an ambitious course load, Shin hopes to graduate on time and with no debt.

As a sophomore, Shin led orientation sessions for new students. She saw many familiar faces.

In the fall of 2016, Jackson sent 89 graduates who’d finished high school two months earlier to UW Bothell. That’s from a class of roughly 500 graduates.

Jackson remains the top feeder high school. Bothell, Kamiak, Mariner and Lynnwood high schools are among the top 10.

Chancellor Wolf Yeigh said the new class of incoming freshmen and transfer students reflects the university’s commitment to access and diversity.

Of the approximately 800 incoming first-year students, 45 percent would be the first in their families to earn a four-year degree. Of the roughly 800 incoming transfer students, 41 percent are also considered “first-generation” students.

Thirty-five percent of incoming first-year students and 32 percent of incoming transfers are eligible for Pell grants, the federal aid to students in financial need.

The overall student body also comes from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds: 40 percent white, 26 percent Asian, 10 percent international, 9 percent Hispanic or Latino, 6 percent African-American, and 6 percent indicated two or more races.

“By welcoming first-generation students and those who come from underrepresented and underserved groups, UW Bothell creates a learning community that has the power to develop individuals, transform generations of a single family and lift entire communities,” Yeigh said.

UW Bothell is also expanding access with academic programs in Everett and Bellevue and through both online and hybrid classes.

Overall, 30 percent of UW Bothell students are enrolled in first-year and pre-major programs.

Of the students in a major field of study, 23 percent are in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics — the largest and fastest-growing school where degrees in computer science and software engineering are in demand.

Seventeen percent are in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, 16 percent are pursuing business degrees, 9 percent are in the School of Nursing & Health Studies. Another 5 percent are enrolled in the School of Educational Studies, acquiring or augmenting professional skills.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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