For the upcoming fall semester at the University of Wyoming, a drop of enrollment from the fall of 2019 of nearly 1,900 students is expected.

According to the Casper Star Tribune, during the fall semester of last year, 6,212 undergraduates were enrolled and that number is expected to diminish by about 18.8 percent. The enrollment for graduate students saw an even more stark decline as it is roughly down 38.9 percent to 1,170 graduate students.

Neil Theobald, UW's Vice President for Finance and Administration said the decline in enrollment is due to consequences from Covid-19 as well as a depressed energy sector. Some students aren't able to afford school due to other areas of the economy being hit hard by Covid-19, such as unemployment. Less students have jobs to help them pay for school.

Tuition revenue for UW is expected to be a loss of more than $10 million due to the decline in enrollment. One idea making the rounds to help the financial state of the university is urging the Legislature at an upcoming special session to fund the 2020-21 school year by way of the CARES Act and use it to pay students' tuition for the upcoming school year.

Theobald also stressed that success of the upcoming fall semester would weigh heavily on limiting the spread of Covid-19 at the university. 20,000 saliva tests have been purchased by the university and will be mailed to students, as well as employees and staff. Another measure being taken to limit the spread of the virus is with the additional online classes that are offered, which make up one-third of overall classes offered this fall.

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