Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Applications outpace previous records; enrollment expected to meet customary numbers

For the fifth consecutive year, U-M received a record number of applications from prospective freshmen. Overall, there were 39,570 freshman applications for academic year 2011-12, an increase of 25 percent from the previous year's record of 31,613.

"The steady increase in the number of students who apply to Michigan underscores the strength of Michigan's reputation as a highly valued educational investment," says Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs.

As of the first week of June, 16,046 of the applicants were offered admission to the university's Ann Arbor campus, and 6,540 had paid the enrollment deposit, a 40.8 percent yield rate (the number of students who pay deposits as a percentage of those who are offered admission). Because some students ultimately choose not to attend, enrollment deposits do not directly correspond to the number of students who enroll in the fall semester.

"The university strives to maintain a consistent undergraduate population of approximately 26,500 students," says Ted Spencer, associate vice provost and executive director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. "We exceeded that number last year, due in part to our largest-ever entering class in 2010. In fall 2011, we will welcome to campus a class that is more in line with our customary numbers."

The projected size of the entering class is approximately 5,970, an intentional decrease from 2010 of about 500. The smaller incoming class of 2011 will allow the university to maintain a relatively constant undergraduate student body population, an important component of quality instruction.

These are preliminary numbers; final enrollment figures will be available in October.

"Given the abundance of outstanding candidates, we worked extremely hard to consider exhaustively each of the 39,570 applicants in terms of their individual achievements and potential, as well as their potential contribution to the entering class and the university as a whole. We are confident that the entering class of 2011 is outstanding in every way and is fully prepared to succeed and engage in our community of scholars," Spencer says.

Applications from underrepresented minority students increased by 14.8 percent, to a total of 4,265. Of those who applied, 1,576 were offered admission, a decrease of 3.7 percent as compared with the previous year, which is consistent with the overall reduction in the entering class size. At U-M, the term "underrepresented minority" is interpreted to include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans.

"Global diversity is key to our university community," Monts says. "It enriches all that we do, in the classroom and beyond. And it is an integral part of our mission. The quality and broad diversity of our incoming class comprises the leaders and best from throughout the state of Michigan, the United States and around the world."

Admissions decisions at U-M are based on the individualized and comprehensive holistic review of the information received about each applicant. As part of the review, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions also uses the College Board's geodemographic tool, called Descriptor PLUS, to identify high school and neighborhood clusters that are not well represented among the U-M student community. The office has increased recruitment and application review staff in both 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.