Tuesday, Texas native Andrea Case, an Engineering freshman, attended her first University class as one of the approximately 6,000 freshmen that enrolled for the fall 2012 semester out of a record high of 42,535 applicants.
The record-breaking number exceeded last year’s number of applicants to the University by roughly 7.5 percent, according to officials. Last year, the Undergraduate Admissions Office received 39,570 applications, almost 3,000 fewer than the 2012-2013 academic year.
University Provost Philip Hanlon said the variety and quality of programs offered at the University are a major attraction to students across the country.
“I do think one of the things that works to our benefit increasingly is the broad variety of types of degrees that we offer,” Hanlon said. “We have a full set of choices.”
Hanlon added that the University has been adjusting its budget to better provide financial aid to students in need, especially in light of recent tuition increases.
The University’s Board of Regents voted on a 2.8 percent tuition increase for in-state students and 3.5 for out-of-state students for the 2012-2013 academic year in June. Though there has been an uptick in prices, University President Mary Sue Coleman said the University has strived to compensate for the extra cost with additional financial guidance.
“For four straight years now, we have presented a financial aid budget that covers the full increase in tuition for our neediest students,” Coleman said at the June regents meeting. “This year’s increase in financial aid will come in the form of grants, not loans, which helps reduce (the) student debt burden.”
Despite the record number of applications, Hanlon said it will not be difficult to accommodate this year’s freshmen, as the University enrolled fewer students than last year. For the 2011-2012 academic year, 6,251 students were enrolled, about 251 more than this year.
Ted Spencer, the associate vice provost and executive director of undergraduate admissions, said the University’s move to the Common Application in 2010 has led to a continual increase in the number of applications each year. According to Spencer, the University received applications from 5,000 high schools last year, and the number of out-of-state applicants has also increased significantly.
Spencer added that the University has been increasing its recruiting efforts in areas of the country that are underrepresented, which has expanded applications.
Case, the Engineering student, said she applied to the University because of the esteemed reputation of the College of Engineering, though she wasn’t sure she’d receive an acceptance letter.
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to be an engineer so I applied to schools that had good engineering programs,” Case said. “I applied (to Michigan) to see if I could get in.”
Though she is the only student from her graduating class attending the University, Case said she is excited to start her freshman year among the newly enrolled, and the Ann Arbor environment has already put her at ease.
“I’ve liked the really pretty campus, it’s different from Dallas which is all concrete,” Case said. “There are actually trees here.”
Correction appended:A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the number of undergraduate applicants for the fall 2012 semester was 43,535. The number is 42,535.
Correction appended: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the University broke records for the number of incoming freshmen enrolled. The University did not break records in the number of students enrolled, but rather in the number of applications received, which increased by 7.5 percent compared to last year. Last year’s application number exceeded the previous year’s number by 2 around percent.
Correction appended: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that there is a surplus of freshmen this year. There are actually around 250 fewer students in this year’s freshman class than in last year’s freshman class.
Correction appended: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that 6,251 students were accepted to the University for this semester. The number of students accepted was 16,073 and 6,251 students enrolled.