The University Record, December 4, 2000

Enrollment stable amidst record number of applications

Tables on fall 2000 enrollment figures and entering first-year class statistics are available.
By Julie Peterson
News and Information Services

Total enrollment at the U-M for fall 2000 reached a record 38,103, but grew only a modest 0.7 percent over last year’s total of 37,846, according to figures released Nov. 29.

Enrollment was stable despite a sizable increase in the number of applications for fall admission to the freshman class. A total of 23,717 applications from first-year students—a record number—were received for summer and fall admission, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year and eclipsing the previous record of 21,310, set in 1998.

The large jump in freshman applications reflects both the continuing popularity of a U-M education and demographic trends occurring within the state and across the country, said Provost Nancy Cantor. The number of high school graduates is projected to increase in Michigan and nationally through the year 2010. At the same time, the proportion of high school graduates aspiring to attend college also has been growing.

“We’re gratified that so many outstanding students are interested in attending the University, and that they recognize the quality of the educational experience we are providing,” Cantor said. “However, our ability to increase our enrollment is constrained by our resources including the number of faculty; infrastructure issues such as classroom space, information technology, library resources and laboratory facilities; and availability of student services. We do not anticipate any significant increases in our overall enrollment over the coming years.”

Enrollment of new freshmen for fall 2000 was 5,418, a decline of 141 students over fall 1999. That decrease reflected a slightly smaller enrollment target for first-year students, Cantor noted. For the second year in a row, women made up a majority of the incoming class: 2,869 compared with 2,549 men.

According to Ted Spencer, director of undergraduate admissions, more than 85 percent of the incoming class participated in school or community service organizations prior to attending the U-M. About half had published poems, stories, articles, or served as editors of their high school newspapers or yearbooks. About 30 percent were elected to one or more student government offices, more than 30 percent received awards in athletics and more than half play a musical instrument.

Enrollment for underrepresented minorities among first-year students in fall 2000 was up over totals for both of the previous two years. The incoming freshman class included 472 African American students, up 75 (19 percent) over 1999; 276 Hispanic American students, up 73 (36 percent); and 39 Native American students, up 3 (8 percent). The number of first-year students not indicating their race increased 26 percent to 402.

Associate Provost Lester Monts cautioned against reading too much into the increases. “We have continued our extensive outreach and recruiting efforts, and we’re pleased that this year it seems to have paid off in increased enrollment among underrepresented minority students in our incoming freshman class,” he said. “However, it is normal to see variation from year to year. Our ability to enroll minority students is dependent upon many factors, the most important one being the strength and composition of the applicant pool.”

In the total student body, which includes undergraduate, graduate and professional students, underrepresented minorities made up 12.7 percent, down from 13 percent last year. By racial group, enrollment percentages were: African American, 7.8 percent; Hispanic American, 4.3 percent; Native American, 0.6 percent; Asian American, 12.3 percent; and white, 66 percent. Nearly 9 percent of students did not indicate their race.

Enrollment percent-ages for the various racial groups are calculated using an adjusted enrollment of 33,123, which represents U.S. residents enrolled in degree-granting programs on the Ann Arbor campus.

A total of 3,484 international students were enrolled, down 158 (4 percent) from last year. Total graduate and professional enrollment was 13,691, up 338 (2.5 percent) from 1999. Total undergraduate enrollment was 24,412, a decrease of only 81 (0.3 percent) from 1999.