Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

U-M applications, projected freshman enrollment reach all-time high

For the fourth consecutive year, U-M received a record number of applications from prospective freshmen, and applications and paid deposits are up for underrepresented minority students.

Overall, there were 31,599 applications for academic year 2010–11, compared with 29,939 in the previous year. As of June 1, 15,979 of these applicants were offered admission to the university’s Ann Arbor campus.

The projected size of the entering class is approximately 6,350, an increase of about 300 more than last year. If this projection proves accurate, 2010 will see the largest incoming class in the history of the university. Plans are under way to support this larger-than-average class in academic resources, housing, transportation and related services.

Class size varies each year and is the result of normal fluctuations in the applicant population and other variables such as the economy. These are preliminary numbers; final enrollment figures will be available in October.

"The steady growth in applications demonstrates the tangible value of a University of Michigan education," says Lester Monts, senior vice provost of academic affairs. "Excellence in our undergraduate programs is by far the top priority among students and their families. The university’s invigorating campus environment materially contributes to our students’ academic life by providing countless opportunities to enrich their experiences through the arts, hands-on research experiences, and global intercultural studies. Prospective students and their families fully appreciate the importance of American and global diversity and the doorways U-M opens to experience the world and to learn from its many complexities."

Applications from underrepresented minority students increased by 836 to a total of 3,715. Of those who applied, 1,636 were offered admission, 224 more than the previous year. The number of underrepresented minority students who have paid the enrollment deposit grew to 724, an increase of 143 as compared with last year. At U-M, the term "underrepresented minority" is interpreted to include African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans.

"Diversity is an inherent element of the University of Michigan community," Monts says. "And we have found that the university’s commitment to diversity motivates many of the most highly qualified students to choose Michigan."

Overall, of the 15,979 freshman applicants offered admission, 6,900 have paid enrollment deposits. This 43.2 percent yield rate (the number of students who pay deposits as a percentage of those who are offered admission) is the same as the previous year. Because some students ultimately choose not to attend, enrollment deposits do not directly correspond to the number of students who enroll in the fall.

"By every measure, the qualifications of our applicant pool are on a steady upward trajectory," says Ted Spencer, associate vice provost and executive director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. "The substantial increase in applications affords every opportunity to assemble an incoming class that will be remarkable both for their academic excellence and achievement, as well as their contributions to the university community during their years on campus."

Common Application to start Aug. 1

The recruitment cycle for 2010–11 began in early June, and prospective students can submit applications as of Aug. 1.

U-M recently joined the national Common Application network. This means there is no longer a U-M-specific application. As of Aug. 1, applicants are encouraged to apply online at commonapp.org. A very limited number of hard-copy applications will be available for those who require that option.

"U-M decided to join the Common Application because we are always looking for ways to do better. Especially in these challenging economic times, we are looking for ways to do better with less," says Spencer. "We believe the Common App will streamline the application process for students, teachers, and counselors. And, our peer schools who belong to the Common Application community — such as Stanford, the University of Virginia and Northwestern — report several benefits from its use, including increased numbers and quality overall, and specifically in diversity and geographic and socioeconomic reach."

Admissions decisions at U-M are based on the individualized and comprehensive holistic review of all information received about each applicant. As part of its individualized, holistic review, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions also uses the College Board’s geodemographic tool, called Descriptor PLUS, to identify high school clusters and neighborhoods that are not well represented among the U-M student community.

The office has increased recruitment staff in its Ann Arbor and Detroit offices. President Mary Sue Coleman and the university’s executive officers, along with staff, students and faculty, participate each year in encouraging admitted students to enroll.