Spring enrollment stabilizes at UM; more students stick around after fall

Spring enrollment at the University of Montana stabilized this year when compared to last, with an overall headcount of 10,644 students, the school said Tuesday.

While UM began its fall semester with fewer students than the previous fall, it saw an uptick of 1.7 percent in the rate of students moving from the fall to spring semester.

That resulted in higher than anticipated tuition revenue for the institution.

“We’re excited by this news and the direction it takes us,” said UM President Seth Bodnar. “We have been working to improve student services across the institution. Our goal is very clear: We want students to not only come to the University of Montana, but to persist and succeed through graduation and beyond.”

Last year, UM began a review and overhaul of its student support systems and organizational structure. As part of that push, it hired Sarah Swager to serve vice provost for student success.

It also hired Cathy Cole as its new vice president for enrollment and strategic communication. Cole has worked to make changes to reach more prospective students.

“We also are fixing the breaks in our recruiting infrastructure,” Cole said. “And we are starting to see positive indicators that show enrollment is slowly turning around.”

Cole said more students are accepting scholarships earlier and signing up earlier for new student orientation. UM is also engaging more students in more ways.

“We have had some challenges in the past in recruitment at the University of Montana,” Cole said. “But as we meet with prospective students and their families in Butte, in Billings, in Great Falls, in Bozeman, we are hearing more and more that the University of Montana is an institution that meets their academic needs and will provide the type of experience they want for their collegiate career.”

Undergraduate enrollment at UM’s central mountain campus stands at 6,196, with graduate student enrollment at 2,667. Missoula College has 1,781 students. The full enrollment report can be read by following this link.