Michigan enrollment report shows CMU experiencing sharpest decline in most categories


The Michigan Association of State Universities has released its enrollment report for Fall 2021. The numbers show Central Michigan University has, in several areas, seen greater enrollment decline than the other 14 state universities.

The report compares each of the institutions in different categories of fall enrollment from 2012-2021. CMU has the highest percentage decrease in overall headcount (43.13 percent), first-time college students (38.19 percent) and undergraduate student headcount (37.28 percent).  

Saginaw Valley State University had the most decline in graduate student headcount at a 43.72 percent decrease. CMU lost 36.94 percent of its graduate students since 2012. 

The number of new transfer students saw the most overall decline out of any category (-34.37 percent). Eastern Michigan University lost the most at a 53.3 percent decrease. CMU trails just behind that at a 50.67 percent decrease. 

The University of Michigan was the only institution that did not experience decline in any category from 2012-2021. U of M increased by 55.47 percent in new transfer students.  

CMU also experienced the highest fall headcount decline in the last year, with an 11.09 percent decrease.

Director of Communications Aaron Mills said the university is working to get ahead of the continuing enrollment decline.

“The university leadership is well aware of the decade-long decline in enrollment," Mills' statement said. "We are taking steps to reverse the trend. These steps include investment in new technology, efforts to support recruiting across market segments, and new investments to support students as they progress toward degree completion."

"A decline that occurred over a 10-year period will not be reversed in one or two years, and we are committed to improving the enrollment at CMU.”