University of Michigan enrollment sets record with more than 50K students

Students attend the first home game of the season on Sept. 9, 2017 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – With the largest-ever freshman class to enter the University of Michigan this fall, the Ann Arbor campus has set a new enrollment record with more than 50,000 students.

The admissions department said this past year was marked by “skyrocketing student interest” and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s freshman class consists of 7,290 students after 79,743 applied and 16,071 were offered admission. This was the largest applicant pool in the school’s history, and nearly 15,000 more prospective students applied compared to the previous year.

Seventy-five percent of in-state students and roughly 33% of out-of-state students who were offered admission enrolled. This new class is 6% larger than the 2020-2021 first-year class and is also one of the most ethnically and racially diverse classes at the university, with 37% of freshmen identifying as people of color.

The number of Black students increased over the past year by 32% and Latinx first-year students increased by 48%.

“The mission of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions speaks to the importance of enrolling a diverse group of students,” Erica Sanders, director of undergraduate admissions said in a statement. “While we continue to strive for improvement, our greater diversity this year is promising and underscores the value of offering a wide range of programs specifically geared toward recruiting and enrolling a diverse campus community.”

Overall graduate enrollment rose 3% compared to last year, from 31,329 to 32,282, and in-state students account for just over half of the total undergraduate student body.

Graduate and professional enrollment also set a record for U-M this year, rising from 16,578 to 17,996 over the past year.

Vice provost for enrollment management, Adele Brumfield, said the enrollment management office had to be versatile during the pandemic, when travel and in-person recruitment was limited. Overall, the admissions teams for undergraduate students hosted more than 1,000 events virtually.

“Students responded to the virtual recruitment experiences, which showcased the benefits of a U-M education and helped students imagine themselves as part of our community,” Brumfield said in a statement. “From what I have learned, collaboration increased and partnerships were strengthened over the past year as the campus united to enroll the fall class of 2021.”

Transfer student rates are also up, with an 8% increase over last year.

“New first-year and transfer students represent 77 of Michigan’s 83 counties, all 50 states, five U.S. territories and more than 70 countries across six continents,” reads a U-M release.

This summer, the university approved a financial aid increase of 6.4%, offsetting a tuition increase of 1.4% for the majority of local students with financial need. The university provides more than 9,000 in-state undergrads with institutional grant aid, and a quarter of those have tuition completely covered.

“The university is committed to providing generous financial resources, which allows more students to choose U-M and thrive once they arrive here,” Brumfield said in a statement. “With the admissions season for fall 2022 in full swing, we’re looking to the future and recruiting the next talented and diverse class of Wolverines.”

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.