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Enrollment at University of Montana is Lowest in Twenty-Five Years

Enrollment at University of Montana is Lowest in Twenty-Five Years

“has seen a 28.5 percent drop in enrollment over the past seven years”

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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If the universities follow the public school model, as the enrollment drops, the public sector unions seek more money and more employees and the state complies. In the local district the enrollment is down by a third from its highest point, and teaching positions are higher now than at that high point.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Haverwilde. | September 24, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Won’t work…universities can fold if demand is not present, unlike K-12. K-12 schools are zoned and citizens have little alternative choice in their zoning or even option to attend school.

How much of this is this due to U. Montana being a particularly lefty school as opposed to Montana State (like Washington vs. Washington State, for example)? And how much is due to young men working in the oil fields? And finally, how much is it due to demographics making Montana an aging state, like Maine or Vermont?