NMU focuses on recruiting new students

Jenean Zahran

NMU focuses on recruitment to combat a nationwide drop of students enrolling in universities.

Though only a slight decline, about 150 students since last year, NMU officials plan on addressing the matter by recruiting more students across the country and internationally, according to Gerry Daniels, Director of Admissions.

“To recruit more students we identify the schools where there have been students interested in the past and give presentations there,” Daniels said.

NMU has put a lot of effort into becoming more “military friendly,” and as a result, there have been a significant increase in veteran students, according to NMU’s Community Connection newsletter.

Currently NMU has eight admissions counselors focused on Michigan high schools and community college students and seven admissions counselors focused on non-Michigan high schools and community colleges, according to Daniels.

“We also work with high school counselors to become more knowledgeable of Northern so they can recommend it to students,” Daniels said.

The top three states NMU possesses the most students from outside of the Midwest are California, Florida and New York, according to Paul Duby, associate vice president of Institutional Research.

Mariah Lundin, a freshman and early childhood education major, is a native resident Florida and is experiencing her first year with cold weather here in Marquette.

Lundin learned about NMU from some of her family members attending Northern, and at first was very hesitant about the idea of coming here.

“The idea didn’t sound too appealing to me because, well, when you live in Florida, you have never really heard of the U.P. before,” Lundin said. “But, so far I am very happy up here because I am seeing the trees change colors, and I have never experienced fall or seen snow before.”

In addition to sending counselors to various high schools around the country, NMU is also involved in special partnership with agencies, one being College Possible, Daniels said.

This nonprofit Americorps organization works with students from ninth grade and up to help make college admission possible for lower-income students.

NMU gives presentations to these students involved in the program along with sponsoring bus trips for them to provide them a chance to visit NMU.

NMU also works with a company called Noel-Levitz, which helps universities use financial aid and scholarship in the most effective ways to impact enrollment, according to Daniels.

The Department of International Programs of NMU is also looking to increase the number of international students by establishing better ties with countries around the world.

Currently China, Canada and Saudi Arabia are the top three countries that Northern has the most students from, according to Tim Compton, interim director of International Programs.

Traditionally, NMU would send colleagues to recruiting fairs around the world with limited success.

“One of the ways we try to recruit international students is help from some of the faculty that are natives of countries overseas,” Compton said. “They will travel there and speak about NMU to the students.”

International universities involved in a “two plus two” program is another advantage of recruiting international students.

The program allows students to attend school in their home country for two years, then finish their degrees in the United States.

NMU has agreements with a few Chinese universities that permit international students to continue their education at NMU, which is why there are many Chinese students, according to Compton.

“My goal for this year was to have as many international students Northern has ever had, and I can say we did reach that goal,” Compton said.