MnSCU schools enrollment passes 200,000 mark; enrollment up at 3 Northland collegesFor the second consecutive fall, more than 200,000 students are taking courses for credit at Minnesota State Colleges & Universities’ 31 schools.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
For the second consecutive fall, more than 200,000 students are taking courses for credit at Minnesota State Colleges & Universities’ 31 schools.
According to recently released enrollment figures, 200,716 students are taking credit-bearing courses this year, 1.5 percent fewer than last fall’s record enrollment of 203,738.
The enrollment decrease was not unexpected, since many students who enrolled at the start of the recession have graduated, MnSCU officials said. More than 38,000 MnSCU students graduated this year, up six percent from 2010.
Three Northland MnSCU colleges bucked the trend of declining enrollment. Enrollment at Lake Superior College increased 3.1 percent to 4,652 students; Vermilion Community College increased 3.6 percent to 780 students; and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College increased 0.1 percent to 2,313 students.
Enrollment at Hibbing Community College declined 10.2 percent to 1,463 students; Mesabi Range and Technical College declined 9.4 percent to 1,541 students; Itasca Community College declined 0.8 percent to 1,290 students; and Rainy River Community College declined 0.8 percent to 356 students.
Not only did the number of MnSCU students decline, but because many students shifted from full-time to part-time status, full-year-equivalent enrollment is projected to decrease by 2.5 percent – from 158,060 last year to 154,091 this year.
Online enrollment, however, rose to 55,554 students, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to fall 2010.
An additional 220,000 students are expected to enroll in credit and noncredit courses throughout the MnSCU system by the end of the academic year, bringing the year’s total enrollment to about 420,000.