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Updated 10:00 AM October 31, 2005
 

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Enrollment for 2005 sets another record

A large freshman class for fall 2005 led to a record enrollment for the Ann Arbor campus, according to figures released Oct. 26 by the registrar. The freshman class also included significant increases in enrollment of minority students.

A focused effort by the University on recruitment and outreach helped reverse a decline in the number of applications after it revised its undergraduate admissions procedures, particularly those from underrepresented groups. A total of 23,882 applications were received for freshman admission, an increase of
12 percent over 2004.

"The staff in Undergraduate Admissions worked very hard to let students know that Michigan offers them a tremendous educational opportunity, and I committed my personal support to their efforts," President Mary Sue Coleman says. "I am delighted to report that we have one of the most academically outstanding and diverse entering classes of students in the University's history."

Total enrollment, which includes undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students, increased by 1.2 percent to 39,993 from 39,533 last year. Undergraduate enrollment is a record 25,467, an increase of more than 1,000 students over the past five years.

"The growth in our enrollment is a reflection of our academic strength, and we're gratified that students continue to see Michigan as one of their top choices," says Edward M. Gramlich, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

This year's entering class totaled 6,115, breaking last year's record freshman enrollment of 6,040. The large freshman class is a result of unexpectedly high yield rates—meaning more students accepted the University's offer of admission than has historically been the case. The figures include students who entered the University in spring, summer or fall 2005.

"Over the past two years, our yield rates have been soaring," says Theodore Spencer, director of Undergraduate Admissions. "In addition, the academic preparation of students applying to U-M continues to increase. These are positive trends, but they create some challenges. For the second year in a row, we overshot our enrollment target by several hundred students."

Spencer says the University will factor in the recent yield trends to return to a more normal level of freshman enrollment for fall 2006. This year's freshmen enrollment target was 5,460.

In order to effectively handle the large freshman class, the University continued to expand services such as opening additional sections of high-demand courses, increasing bus routes, and adding support in areas such as academic advising and the residence halls.

The University's recruiting efforts helped to reverse a decline in African American first-year students that occurred in the years immediately preceding and following the Supreme Court's ruling on Michigan's admissions policies.

The 2005 entering freshman class included 443 African American students, an increase of more than 26 percent over 2004 and the same level of enrollment as in fall 2002, the year prior to the affirmative action lawsuit decisions.

This year's class also included a record number of Hispanic students, 312, exceeding the previous record set in 2002.

A total of 57 Native American first-year students enrolled, down slightly from last year's record high but the second-highest enrollment total ever. Enrollment of Asian American first-year students was 789, also a record.

The University's admissions recruiting included numerous workshops around the state for high school counselors and prospective students, visits by the president to African American communities, radio ads in urban markets and the launch of a Spanish-language Web portal.

"These efforts are being continued and expanded," says Lester P. Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs. "We are continuing to see the positive effects of this hard work. So far the number of applications for 2006 admission is ahead of last year at this time, including an increase in applications from underrepresented minority students."

The University also has worked to make undergraduate education more affordable by investing heavily in financial aid, Monts says. This year U-M launched a major new financial aid program, M-PACT, which committed $3 million per year to increase grants and reduce loans for nearly 3,000 in-state undergraduate students. With the addition of M-PACT along with a substantial General Fund increase in financial aid, grant support for resident undergraduates increased by 28 percent this year.

In the total student body, African American enrollment declined slightly by 38 students, a reflection of several trends including an increase in the number of African American students earning degrees in 2005, as well as the relatively small cohorts of African American freshmen in 2003 and 2004 moving through the system. Graduation rates are rising among all groups of students.

At the undergraduate and graduate levels, a total of 2,618 African American students were enrolled in fall 2005, making up 7.6 percent of the student body.

Total enrollment included 1,746 Hispanic students, 5.1 percent of the student body; 332 Native American students, 1 percent; 4,569 Asian American students, 13.3 percent; and 22,790 white students, 66.4 percent. Nearly 7 percent of students listed other racial categories or did not indicate their race.

Racial percentages are calculated using an adjusted total enrollment of 34,345, which includes only U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens.

International student enrollment was down 0.5 percent, with 4,361 students from foreign countries enrolled this fall compared with 4,384 in 2004. The declines in international students were concentrated at the graduate and professional level.

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