NMU fall student enrollment higher than initially expected

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Photo courtesy of NMU Factbook.

Justin Van't Hof

NMU released its fall semester 10-day enrollment report which shows a lower decrease in enrollment than was previously expected. The enrollment numbers for this semester show a headcount of 7,368, a 364 student decrease compared to the 7,732 headcount from the 2019 fall semester.

“The uncertainty with COVID-19 made it really difficult to get a sense for what students were planning to do for this fall; many made last-minute decisions,” said Jason Nicholas, director of Institutional Research and Analysis in an NMU press release. “Early in the cycle, we saw indications that the numbers could potentially decrease more than they have. As the summer progressed, they improved a bit—not to the level of last year, but better than earlier projections.”

NMU students of color saw a slight decrease in enrollment from 1,241 last fall semester to 1,137 for the current semester. Previously, students who are two or more races made up the majority of students of color with 28.3% in fall 2019. This trend, however, changed as Hispanic and Latino students now make up the majority of students of color with 27.3% and students who are two or more races at 25.3%. African American students saw a decrease of 15 students making up 10.9% of students of color.

Although the university saw decreases in overall enrollment, the graduate studies program saw an increase of 41 students. The graduate program also saw an increase of 4% of first-time graduate students.

“The Institutional Research staff are digging into the numbers for details, but it appears we had more students change their attendance plans later in the process. Each student had to make a personal decision on whether to attend this fall. It has been very difficult to compare this year’s trends to any other year,” chief marketing officer Derek Hall said.