The University of Michigan’s enrollment hit an unprecedented high of more than 50,000 students in Fall 2021, according to a release from the University Record.
University President Mark Schlissel spoke about the increased University enrollment at the University of Michigan Board of Regents meeting Thursday evening.
“This fall’s first year class on the Ann Arbor campus is our largest ever, and our student body for the campus is more than 50,000 for the first time in history,” Schlissel said. “Demand for a Michigan education is at record highs.”
This fall, the number of freshman student applicants rose by about 15,000, reaching a total of 79,743. 16,071 were offered admission, representing a 20% acceptance rate. In 2020, the acceptance rate was 26%.
7,290, or 45%, of accepted applicants chose to enroll at the University — 400 more than the previous year, which saw a 41% enrollment rate of those who were offered admission.
There was a 3% increase in total undergraduate enrollment this semester, going from 31,329 enrollees last year to 32,282 enrollees this year. The number of graduate and professional school enrollees reached 17,996 this year, rising from a previous enrollment of 16,578.
Within the new class, about 37% of students identify as persons of color, compared to 34% of students last year. Latinx student enrollment saw a 48% increase from 433 last year to 640 this fall. Black student enrollment rose from 305 last year to 404 this fall — a rise of about 32%.
Student organizations on campus have criticized the University’s low Black and Latinx enrollment numbers — particularly in January when the University discontinued the Provost Award, which provided full demonstrated need for some out-of-state students. Latinx students make up 9% of the current freshman class, compared to 6% last year. While Black students make up 6% of the current freshman class compared to 4% last year.
Out of this term’s freshman class, around 50% reside in-state, while 45% are domestic out-of-state and 5% international.
Additionally, there was an 8% rise in transfer students from last year. The freshman and transfer classes combined include students from 77 Michigan counties, all 50 states, five U.S. territories and 70 countries.
In the Record article, Adele Brumfield, vice provost for enrollment management, attributed this rise in enrollment to virtual recruitment events and the University’s early decision to have Fall 2021 classes in person. Brumfield also highlighted the importance of financial aid in promoting student enrollment.
“The university is committed to providing generous financial resources, which allows more students to choose U-M and thrive once they arrive here,” Brumfield said. “With the admissions season for fall 2022 in full swing, we’re looking to the future and recruiting the next talented and diverse class of Wolverines.”
In 2018, the U-M Ann Arbor campus launched the Go Blue Guarantee program, which grants coverage of full tuition for in-state students whose families make $65,000 or less. In the years since and following student activists advocating for its expansion, the program has been brought to both satellite campuses at Flint and Dearborn with an added controversial GPA requirement, mandating that incoming freshmen must have a 3.5 GPA while returning students must have a 3.0 GPA.
Recently, however, Schlissel received backlash from the campus community after releasing a survey portraying expanded tuition assistance to Flint and Dearborn as academic and financial burdens for the Ann Arbor campus.
The University is the second-largest provider of financial aid and institutional grants to freshmen among the nation’s public research universities, offering about $256.9 million. The University budget also saw a 6.4% increase in financial aid allocation, about a $15.5 million increase, according to the Record article.
Brumfield said the University’s recruitment efforts were adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic world.
“From what I have learned, collaboration increased and partnerships were strengthened over the past year as the campus united to enroll the fall class of 2021,” Brumfield said.
Daily Staff Reporter Navya Gupta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read The Michigan Daily’s other coverage of the Oct. 21 Regents meeting, see below: