MISSOULA – The 2015 spring semester headcount at the University of Montana is 12,922, which is a 4.7 percent decrease from a year ago.
UM officials said the downturn was expected, and the current number meets the University’s enrollment and budget projections for this fiscal year.
“We are where we projected we would be, given our fall enrollment numbers,” UM President Royce Engstrom said. “Our enrollment picture remains challenging as several smaller classes continue to move through our system, but we see encouraging signs for the future.”
Those signs include an uptick in the number of first-time entering freshmen on the mountain campus for both fall and spring semesters, and increased retention of new freshmen from fall semester.
First-time entering freshmen on the mountain campus in the fall semester were up 6.4 percent over the previous fall. Those entering students also had a higher cumulative GPA than the previous incoming freshman class. The number of new freshmen starting in spring semester on the mountain campus this year was up over spring 2014 by 8.9 percent.
Overall retention of freshmen on the mountain campus was 91 percent for spring semester compared with 90.2 percent a year ago.
At Missoula College, spring headcount was 1,859, a 10.9 percent decline compared to a year ago. University officials believe the robust Montana and national economies have affected MC enrollment, along with the fact that several programs are currently at capacity.