The Honors College enrolled another record-breaking class this fall, making major strides on WSU’s goals for high-achieving students.

A record 290 first-year students enrolled in WSU’s Honors College, setting an enrollment record for the fourth straight year. The class includes 14 National Merit Scholars (WSU had 16 overall), an all-time high for WSU and firmly in the top 25 in the country, and comparable with land-grant peers such as Ohio State and Wisconsin. The college is making great advances in the Drive to 25, which includes a metric for National Merit Scholars.

“We have a lot of exciting programs for students who want to have a rich college experience here at WSU,” says Honors College dean Grant Norton. “They can connect with faculty and have a personal experience, but we also have all the resources of a major university. I think our reputation is definitely increasing.”

The Honors College offers high-achieving students unique opportunities. Scholarship support, small class sizes, interactive courses, research and creative opportunities, and study abroad options are just some of the enticements for students interested in the program.

Last fall’s Future Cougars of Distinction event at WSU brought hundreds of the state’s top high school seniors to campus. Norton says those students were impressed by WSU’s faculty, facilities and campus atmosphere, and many made plans to become Cougars shortly thereafter.

“When they come here and see what our campus has to offer it makes a great impression,” Norton says. “Almost 70 percent of the students that came for the Future Cougars of Distinction ended up enrolling.”

The Honors College now enrolls close to 1,000 students, and they’re gaining national recognition for their academic prowess:

  • Senior Alyssa Norris was a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, becoming WSU’s first finalist for the prestigious award since 1990. Norris, a senior civil engineering student, was named WSU’s Student Regent for 2017-18.
  • Paige Danielson earned the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award in May, a first for a WSU student-athlete. The award recognizes the student-athlete with the top GPA among NCAA Championship competitors. Danielson, who holds a 4.0 GPA, is a member of WSU’s rowing team, which placed 14th at the NCAA Championships.
  • Teva Mayer, a zoology major, earned WSU’s first-ever National Collegiate Honors Council Portz Fellowship for 2017.
  • Julianna Brutman and Keesha Matz received Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships and WSU had three Goldwater Scholarship recipients overall.

For more information on the Honors College, visit