We’re going to see more reports like this over the next decade.

The Missoulian reports:

7.6 percent decline puts University of Montana enrollment at lowest in 25 years

The University of Montana saw a 7.6 percent drop in enrollment from last fall to this fall, according to its latest census enrollment report.

It marks the eighth consecutive year of decline for the university, and the first time enrollment has dropped below 11,000 since 1993 — even as enrollment at the system’s other flagship, Montana State University, is projected to increase beyond its enrollment of 16,703 last fall.

UM has seen a 28.5 percent drop in enrollment over the past seven years, and had anticipated a 5 percent drop in enrollment this fall. But the university’s latest census shows a steeper decline, from 11,865 students in Fall 2017 to 10,962 this fall.

That count includes the University’s Missoula and Bitterroot Colleges and its central Mountain Campus.

Paula Short, director of communications for the University’s Office of the President, attributed part of the most recent drop to how UM counts students in its dual-enrollment program, which allows Montana high school students to take UM classes for college credit. Short said the number of students counted in this program dropped from 280 last fall to 64 now.

She stressed that “any numbers before we do the original census are just estimates,” and that the number could fluctuate moving forward.


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