Another day another enrollment story. Here’s some great news from the University of Minnesota-Crookston: Undergraduate enrollment is up 8.5 percent.
We’d been hearing about how crazy it is with residence halls filling up and got these numbers today:
|Undergrad||% change||Non-degree||% change||Total||% change|
The story here is that UMC is focused on building up undergrad enrollment and part of that involves keeping a handle on non-degree seeking students. Most of those are high school students that either take college-level courses on campus or in their own high schools.
University spokesman Andrew Svec said it was a matter of "right-sizing" the program. This means, among other things, making the best use of resources. I didn’t get this out of him, but I think what he means is UMC wants full-time students who pay full-time tuition. Either that or the university thinks it needs to focus harder on undergrad education, which would build its reputation in the region and bring more students.
The press release out of UMC touted the marketing slogan "Small campus. Big degree." UMC’s finding a niche among students looking for a small, intimate campus because 72 percent of the incoming class said they came to Crookston for that reason.
UMC is pushing online, too, but it’s obviously proud of getting more students on campus:
The number of students living on campus is also at a record high. According to the Office of Residential Life, 563 students currently live in campus residence halls and apartments. The newly-opened 128-bed apartment-style residence hall, Evergreen Hall, has helped address the demand for campus housing, and it is full, as are three other campus residence halls.
What’s interesting is UMC is making its big push down in the Cities and in southern Minnesota. It’s mystifying that there are urban and suburban kids willing to ensconce themselves in Crookston to focus on their studies like young monks. I realize there are things to do in Crookston, but it’s microscopic by big city standards. Going there from Wayzata is like, well, it’s like those kung fu movies where the hero secludes himself in the mountain to practice the Five-Point Palm Exploding-Heart Technique with a grey-bearded hermit.