After the University’s enrollment decreased by 1.5% in fall 2022, spring enrollment numbers showed a slight increase in students.
The University of Montana’s enrollment sits at 10,109 students for spring 2023. In the fall, UM’s enrollment was 9,995 students, so the spring numbers show about 100 additional students enrolled.
This year’s spring numbers also are a 3.1% increase from spring 2022’s enrollment of roughly 9,800 students.
"We're starting to see the fruit bear from our efforts to recruit more aggressively over the last three to four years," said Dave Kuntz, the University's spokesperson.
Kuntz said the spring semester enrollment is a report card to make sure the University is on track both with bringing in new students and helping current students graduate.
The University had 1,190 graduates from the fall semester. Despite that loss, there was a boost in student numbers thanks to a 2.2% increase in the number of undergraduates returning between the fall and spring — the largest number since the pandemic, according to a Feb. 15 press release.
"Historically, as you look back, that number's been negative and we lose undergrads over winter break, which is good news for retention," Kuntz said, adding that this is an indicator that retention will be strong next fall.
Also helping with the slight enrollment boost was a 2.3% increase in the number of students taking full-time course loads this spring.
From spring 2022 to spring 2023, there was a 40% increase in the number of new Missoula College students enrolled, from 40 new students in spring 2022 to 56 this semester.
The University is also up from spring 2022 in enrolled Native American students, veterans and students with disabilities.
But, the University also saw a decrease from spring 2022 to spring 2023 in students offered the Pell Grant and in first generation students. Pell Grant recipients are down by 8% compared to spring 2022, while first generation enrollment is down by 11%.
UM’s enrollment grew for the first time in a decade in the 2021-2022 school year. Even though fall enrollment was down overall, the University saw its largest freshman class in years in fall 2022, totaling at 1,425 new students.
According to Kuntz, early indicators — like the number of students who've made deposits or shared health records with UM's Curry Health Center — give reason to be optimistic about what enrollment might look like in the fall.