CMU Sees 43% Drop in Enrollment Over the Past Decade
Chipping away at the student count, Central Michigan University continues to see a decade of lowering enrollment.
This week, CMU reported a total enrollment for this semester at 15,421 students. Ten years ago, the count was over 27,000.
It was expected that CMU‘s enrollment would be down from last year but once they released their numbers this week it showed they were down a full 10% from last year. It’s a continuing trend that they’ve seen over the past decade. While many other universities are also seeing this decline in enrollment, it’s something CMU wants to reverse before it becomes the new normal.
“Yes, the university’s enrollment has been in decline for a number of years but I think the new vision of the university will help move us forward,” said Jennifer DeHaemers, Vice President of Student Recruitment and Retention.
It’s been an issue for a decade and COVID just sped it up. It may be an issue for all universities but it’s particularly stark seeing 27,000 Chippewas in 2012, compared to only 15,400 this semester.
“This university’s priorities are in enrollment,” said DeHaemers, “That means new students, as well as keeping the ones that we are here so that they can graduate with their degrees.”
Enrollment is the key driver for revenue. State funding and tuition rely on students signing up. While the school is focusing on marketing and investments to attract students, they are prioritizing what works on campus as the budget tightens.
“They’re not as effective as maybe they want to be, so what do we stop doing?” said DeHaemers, “ So that we have those resources to put into things that we do need to be doing.”
It’s all about competition. Whether it be a trade school or a community college, students have more options and many of them are more affordable. It’s on CMU to prove they are worth it.
“Higher education is expensive, no doubt,” said DeHaemers, “But making an investment in your future is going to pay off at CMU.”