Enrollment increases at NMU


MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — Northern Michigan University has seen an increase in enrollment.

According to the university’s 10th day enrollment report, enrollment for undergraduate and graduate students has increased by 137 compared with fall 2018.

There are 7,732 students enrolled at NMU this semester, a 1.8% increase from last year. Graduate and online enrollments have shown particularly positive strides.

The new, first-time graduate rate increased by 71 students, a 63.4% increase.

“Graduate enrollment gains are not from just one data point, but are a combination of factors,” said Lisa Schade Eckert, dean of Graduate Education and Research. “These include new programs like the master of social work and early childhood education; stability in existing programs; an increased focus on recruitment and marketing last year; a review of admission requirements to emphasize inclusivity and access; and the team effort and support from stakeholders across campus.”

NMU’s Global Campus online program enrollment counts show a growth of 108 students, or 26% in overall headcount.

“There have been big jumps in both undergraduate and graduate students taking advantage of an increasing array of online learning opportunities,” said Jason Nicholas, director of Institutional Research and Analysis.

Nicholas said the number of new first-time freshmen remained virtually even compared with fall 2018, dipping by seven students. Maintaining the new freshmen rate gives NMU an 18.2% increase for the three-year period, defying state and national trends.

“In 2016, our new first-time freshmen count was 1,355,” Nicholas said. “This fall, we are at 1,601. That’s all in a year when the national projections for Michigan indicated that we’d have 1.3% fewer high school grads coming to us this fall. Staying even in this population is a big win and critical to the continued growth of the overall headcount moving forward. It shows NMU’s appeal has increased among prospective students in recent years.”

NMU President Fritz Erickson said he is pleased that Northern’s three-year enrollment gains have reversed previous headcount declines, noting this is the first time in eight years that Northern’s total enrollment has increased.

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