NMU ENROLLMENT PICTURE 'UPBEAT'

 Â  MARQUETTE – Fall-semester enrollment at Northern Michigan University has increased 4 percent – or 345 students – over last year, according to 10th-day figures released by Institutional Research. The total headcount is 9,009. This compares with 8,664 reported at the same time a year ago.

“The university’s enrollment management network projected a final fall enrollment of about 9,350 and Northern is on track to meet that target,” said Paul Duby, associate vice president for institutional research. “Between the 10th day and the end of the semester, the number will climb because it currently does not include enrollment in educational programs that start later in the semester like the Public Safety Institute. Overall, the numbers are pretty upbeat.”

Duby reports increases at each undergraduate class level, from incoming freshmen to seniors. The only drop is in graduate enrollment, which is down 6.2 percent, or 42 students.

The academic credentials of first-time, full-time freshmen are identical to 2002. Those pursuing baccalaureate degrees enter NMU with an average ACT composite score of 23.2 and 3.02 high school GPA. Northern continues to draw a large market share of Upper Peninsula students.

“Fifty percent of U.P. graduates going to one of the state public universities choose Northern,” Duby said. “In Marquette County, it is closer to 80 percent. However, the size of the pool is shrinking as high school graduating classes decline in the region. Dominating a smaller pool doesn’t help much in terms of achieving our enrollment goals, so we are putting more resources and energy into recruiting in Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois and Minnesota in addition to traditional markets.”

To illustrate the point, Duby said Upper Peninsula students once accounted for 60 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen, but that figure has dropped to 47 percent. About 330 students, or one-fifth of incoming freshmen, hail from Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Duby said other positive trends include increases in the following areas: credit hours, undergraduates enrolled on a full-time basis, and transfer students.



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Kristi Evans
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