The University of Montana saw a 5.4 percent decrease in the student headcount from spring semester 2017 to spring 2018, with significant drops in student numbers in undergraduate and Missoula College enrollment. Only graduate students saw numbers increase from the previous spring.
Student headcount for spring is 10,987, the latest drop in a pattern that began after fall 2011. UM’s enrollment peaked that year at 15,669 and has declined nearly 30 percent since.
Enrollment drops from fall to spring of the same school year are standard, according to Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Tom Crady, because some students graduate in December. The decrease from fall semester to spring semester was roughly 8 percent, which is comparable to the last few years of data. Spring enrollment is typically compared to previous spring semesters.
This spring brought a total 9.1 percent decrease in undergraduates and a 1.8 percent decrease in Missoula College students, while graduate students increased by 4.5 percent. The total drop from last year for the Mountain Campus and Missoula College is 628 students, by headcount.
The University measures students through both headcount and full time enrollment, meaning the number of full-time course loads — 15 credits — being taken on campus. UM’s FTE currently stands at 9,132. According to the Carnegie Classifications, a commonly used framework for classifying universities and colleges, this makes UM a medium-sized four-year university, rather than a large one as it was classified until fall 2016.
Other notable numbers include:
- First-time freshmen on the Mountain Campus decreased by 18.5 percent from last spring.
- Transfer freshmen on the Mountain Campus decreased by 37.8 percent.
- Other transfer students on the Mountain Campus decreased by 23.6 percent.
- Missoula College saw a 30 percent increase in non-freshman transfer students.
The full census day report and previous years’ reports can be found here.