This fall, Wayne State welcomed its largest group of full-time freshmen in the university’s 150-year history. With 2,955 full-time freshmen, the newest cohort’s size is 15 percent larger than last year’s freshman class.

In addition to having the highest incoming freshman population in university history this year, WSU is also seeing an increase in the number of first-time college students. Over 3,000 people chose WSU as their first higher education institution, said Associate Vice President for Enrollment Dawn Medley.

“I think these numbers indicate that we’ve shifted from an institution that has a lot of part-time students in our freshman class, to an institution that’s bringing in a whole bunch of traditional full-time freshman students,” Medley said.

Freshman engineering student Josh Anderson said he chose to attend WSU because the university offered an academic program he was interested in and because of the location of campus. 

“I’m a big fan of the city,” Anderson said. “I was planning on going into chemical engineering and I heard that Wayne State is the third best chemical engineering college in the country.”

Medley said WSU’s campus is “vibrant” due to its new renovations, buildings and ability to call midtown home.

Freshman kinesiology student Hibah Habib said she chose WSU for its kinesiology program.

“I really like the program — it just spoke to me,” she said. “The professors all seemed really welcoming.”

Freshman Sarayah Winchester, a Detroit native, didn’t want to leave the city for college.

Winchester, a biological sciences major, was also drawn to WSU because of its strong programs.

Some freshman were also interested in the extracurricular activities WSU has to offer.

Freshman Mesha Payton, a psychology major, is attracted to WSU’s dance program, as she is an advanced tap dancer.

“I’m a swimmer, so I knew some people that were going to attend (WSU) for swimming, as we have a pretty good swim program,” Anderson, the engineering student, said.

“We’re an institution focused on student success, focused on graduation rates, focused on providing financial aid support for students,” said Medley. “I will also never discount that students are really excited to come to WSU.”

Amal Rass is features editor of The South End. She can be reached at

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