UW-Bothell biggest branch campus

4,172 students attend classes in the Seattle suburb

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Fall enrollment at Washington State University Vancouver is 2,980 students, or 2,357 full-time-equivalent students, according to the university’s website.

BOTHELL — With more than 4,000 students enrolled for fall quarter, the University of Washington's Bothell campus is now the biggest branch campus in the state, with plans to grow even more over the next few years.

UW plans to expand past the current 4,172 students and toward 5,000 in the Seattle suburb by 2015.

The campus's dramatic growth is attributed to both its location and the increasing demand for higher education across the state.

UW-Bothell got its first big enrollment boost when it started accepting freshmen and sophomores in 2006. The 670 freshmen enrolled this quarter make up its biggest incoming class ever. Enrollment has grown steadily since 1,884 students enrolled in fall quarter 2007.

The state's second largest branch campus is UW-Tacoma with 3,919 students. Washington State University has three branch campuses and would like to open a fourth in the Everett area.

WSU-Spokane, which enrolls only upper-level students, has 1,247 students this fall. WSU-Vancouver has 2,980 students, and WSU-Tri-Cities has 1,438. Other Washington universities offer classes around the state, but those programs are not branch campuses.

WSU, which holds classes at the University Center at Everett Community College, is seeking $2 million from the state to expand its course offerings.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson is part of a group trying to get a WSU branch established in his city.

"This is evidence that people in our area are seeking access to higher education opportunities," Stephanson said in an email.

Tuition is slightly less expensive at the branch campus vs. Seattle.