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Evergreen College sees rise in out-of-state applicants, but enrollment issues remain

Evergreen State College. (AP)

The Evergreen State College is seeing a jump in out-of-state applicants. Administrators tell The Olympian their plan to attract students from outside Washington state is working. The school has seen a steady decline over the last decade.

This fall, just over 2,800 students are enrolled, a 40 percent drop from 10 years ago. The school has had to make budget cuts the last few years. Partly due to an economic recovery and a general decline in liberal arts enrollment, Evergreen saw further troubles after campus issues involving professor Bret Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying, who resigned from their faculty positions after filing a $3.85 million lawsuit for failing to protect employees from verbal hostility and threats of physical violence.

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It traced back to Weinstein criticizing the school after the white students were asked to leave campus during the school’s annual Day of Absence, arguing that the school was mistreating people based on their race. The incident and ongoing unrest at Evergreen made headlines for years.

In response to its enrollment woes, Evergreen began a more aggressive strategy to recruit students, rebrand their reputation, and further reach out to out-of-state applicants.

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While they’ve seen a rise in application from outside of the state, it hasn’t necessarily translated to higher non-resident enrollment, though school officials remain hopeful. Currently, 83 percent of Evergreen’s students are from Washington state.

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