Central Michigan University had a loss of 78 students this year with a total of 28,311 students registered.
This is a 0.3 percent decrease, according to the Office of the Registrar’s annual report.
Mary Meier, assistant director of institutional research, was responsible for producing the statistics. She said the numbers are taken from enrollment annually after the eighth day of classes, 10 percent of the way into the semester. They use a data freeze file that produces a snapshot of who is enrolled at the time.
“We know we’re comparing equivalent points in time,” she said. “I think it’s a good way of doing it. That’s the way most other universities do it.”
The most significant change was the drop of on-campus first-time-in-any-college (FTIAC) freshmen by 316 students, a 7.5 percent loss from fall 2010. It was the largest percent loss of the one-year enrollment comparisons.
Off-campus FTIAC freshman enrollment, however, increased by 45.2 percent this past year and has increased by 84.8 percent in the past five years.
Steve Smith, director of public relations, said freshman numbers were lower this year because CMU purposefully limited undergraduate enrollment. In 2010, CMU student population numbers were overwhelming, he said, and they wanted to make sure the campus was not overcrowded.
“Last year we felt there were too many students … it was a bit overwhelming,” Smith said. “We wanted to make sure the academic experience and the living environment was good.”
Although the overall numbers dropped, there was an increase in the diversity of student’s ethnic backgrounds. According to the Registrar’s Office, on-campus black students increased from 889 in fall 2010 to 1,018 in fall 2011, now making up 5 percent of the student population.
In geographical distribution, CMU decreased by 128 students in local Michigan counties, dropped by 16 students from foreign countries, but gained 73 students nationwide.
From 2007 to 2011, undergraduate enrollment increased by 7.6 percent, undergraduate student credit hours enrollment increased by 4.9 percent, and minority enrollment increased by 11.7 percent.
Total enrollment has increased by 4.5 percent in the past five years.
Over the five-year span, on-campus programs increased international enrollment by 36.2 percent, on-campus minority enrollment by 15.2 percent and on-campus graduate student credit hours by 15.1 percent.
Graduate enrollment off-campus over the five-year span decreased by 9.2 percent, and U.S. site enrollment off-campus decreased by 41 percent.
Off-campus enrollment had the largest change of the departments. From last year, CMU’s non-U.S. site enrollment increased by 20 percent, even though its numbers have declined by 70 percent in the past five years.