Northern Michigan Colleges, Universities Seeing Applications Rise

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have triggered more interest at colleges and universities with application numbers up across the country.

Ferris State University says applications are up 14% from this time a year ago, and admissions are up 29%.

So, what’s fueling the rise?

“Because of the pandemic we haven’t had as many opportunities for students to take an SAT or ACT test. As a result, we’ve expanded our test optional admissions and made the scholarships for grades only students a lot more valuable this year,” said Dean of Enrollment Services Kristen Salomonson.

It’s a similar story for some community colleges in northern Michigan. Northwestern Michigan College had been projecting a drop in application numbers, in part because of a continued drop in the number of high school graduates statewide.

But they say programs like Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect meant that projected drop was not as big as expected.

“We had projected to be 15% down from the prior year. We were not. We were only 7% down and that was because of the Futures for Frontliners. We are seeing our numbers be slightly ahead of last year as this point in time,” said Cathryn Claerhout, Director of Admissions.

It’s not clear if this application trend will continue, but colleges and universities say it’s an encouraging sign.

“We have a lot of time between now and fall, but we’re still very much excited to welcome in as many students as we can in the fall, and I think we’re on a really good path right now and I’m just very excited to see what those results are come September,” said Salomonson.

3 25 21 College Apps Up Vo00 00 00 00still001

Categories: Coronavirus