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For the class of 2026, the University of Michigan received a record breaking number of applications from prospective first year students, according to the University Record. In total, the University saw over 84,000 applications, which was a 6% increase to the over 80,000 applications received last year.

Within this rise in numbers, the University saw a 17% increase in first-generation applicants, a 1% increase in in-state applicants, a 5% increase in out-of-state applicants, a 13% increase in international applicants and an 8% increase in applicants of Color.

Erica Sanders, director of undergraduate admissions, said in the Record article that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is achieving their goals of recruiting broadly diverse and qualified applicants. This year, the University observed an increase in the total number of applicants from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups by 5%; applicants who identify as Black increased by 7% and applicants who identify as Latino increased by 5%. 

“We know there are talented, high-achieving students of all backgrounds who can be successful at the University of Michigan,” Sanders said. “It is through close collaboration with the financial aid office and working with campus partners, including our schools and colleges, that we’ve had success in engaging these students and their families.”

Sanders also said she attributes the increase in applicants to the return of in-person recruitment events, as this allowed students to experience “the depth and breadth of academic, social and community engagement opportunities available at the University.”

Applications from prospective students who identify as low-income were down 7% for the University, a trend seen across the United States due to economic challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. A study from the National College Attainment Network found that many low-income students, who are disproportionately Black and Hispanic, have elected to join the workforce in order to support their families rather than attend college. 

According to the Record article, the University has committed to the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an effort that unites 128 universities with the objective of increasing the number of enrolled low- and moderate-income students by 50,000 by the year 2025. In 2017, the University also launched the Go Blue Guarantee, a free-tuition scholarship for in-state students whose family income is less than $65,000 annually. Last year, the program was expanded to students on the Dearborn and Flint campuses, though there is a minimum GPA requirement for students on the satellite campuses.

“Through our commitment with ATI and initiatives like the Go Blue Guarantee, the University of Michigan has made it clear that college affordability is a top priority, especially for our in-state students,” Adele Brumfield, vice provost for enrollment management, said in the Record article.

As of late March, the undergraduate admissions office said they have released the majority of their decisions for first-year applicants for the class of 2026. However, some academic units admitting first-year students will continue to release decisions in April. For transfer students, admissions decisions will be released by mid-April.

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