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Spring 2013 freshman enrollment falls 15 percent; overall CMU on-campus enrollment declines 3.6 percent

Undergraduate on-campus enrollment continues to decline at Central Michigan University, despite continued efforts to attract students from a shrinking pool of high school students.

According to spring on-campus enrollment numbers obtained Tuesday by Central Michigan Life, freshman enrollment declined 15 percent from spring 2012 and sophomore enrollment dropped almost 8.6 percent. Junior and senior enrollment increased by 3.7 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Total on-campus undergraduate enrollment has decreased to 17,119 from 17,759 last spring, which translates to a loss of 3.6 percent.

That is an even steeper drop-off than enrollment numbers from fall 2012, which recorded freshman enrollment declining 12.4 percent from the fall 2011 semester.

Overall, CMU’s enrollment suffered an almost 3.5-percent loss, bringing the student total to 18,867, which is 680 students fewer than spring 2012. In the fall, total on-campus undergraduate enrollment was 18,686, which means the decline from fall to spring semesters is 181 students, or a 0.96-percent decrease.

The total number of graduate students enrolled is 1,748, which is a 2.2-percent decrease from 1,788 last spring. As compared to fall, when 1,818 graduate students were enrolled, that is a loss of 70 students, or 3.85 percent.

Although master’s student enrollment dropped about 4.2 percent, students earning their doctorates increased by about 7.8 percent.

Drops in enrollment are the trend among other Michigan universities, too.

According to Western Michigan University’s website, its total on-campus undergraduate student enrollment this spring decreased about three percent compared to spring 2012, from 18,357 students to 17,801.

WMU’s freshman enrollment decreased 6.1 percent since spring 2012, while sophomore, junior and senior enrollment decreased 2.7 percent, 0.7 percent and four percent, respectively.

Steven Johnson, vice president of enrollment and student services at CMU, released a statement in September upon the release of fall enrollment statistics saying the decline in enrollment was expected and reflected Michigan’s shrinking high school graduation classes.

He said low teacher-student ratios, multidisciplinary collaboration and faculty’s proactive involvement in career services after graduation were platforms to increase enrollment at CMU.

Johnson was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Keep checking cm-life.com for more on this developing story.

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