The undergraduate student body at the University of Michigan this fall includes more underrepresented minorities, more students from low-income families, more first-generation students and representation from more Michigan high schools.
Undergraduate enrollment this fall is 28,983. Graduate and professional school enrollment is 15,735, bringing overall enrollment on the Ann Arbor campus to 44,718 students, up 2.4 percent over fall 2015. Underrepresented minorities make up 12.3 percent of the undergraduate student body, up from 11.4 percent last fall.
The freshman class came in as expected at 6,689 students, representing an intentional increase of 618 students (10.2 percent) over fall 2015. Underrepresented minorities make up 13.8 percent of the freshman class, up from 12.8 percent in fall 2015.
This represents solid progress from deliberate efforts to increase enrollment of underrepresented minorities, says Kedra Ishop, associate vice president for enrollment management, while acknowledging that there is still work to be done.
Underrepresented minorities include these ethnicities: black, Hawaiian, Hispanic, Native American, or a combination of two or more underrepresented minorities.
“After carefully fine-tuning our enrollment process last year, we set out to intentionally grow the freshman class,” Ishop says. “We hit our target this fall and now expect to have a stable and consistent freshman class size while continuing our admissions outreach and enrollment efforts.”
U-M continues to uphold its longstanding commitment to meet the full financial need of all admitted in-state undergraduate students, assuring that U-M remains financially accessible. This year the university increased financial aid overall by 10.8 percent, budgeting $170 million for need-based financial aid.
Erica Sanders, director of undergraduate admissions, says her staff reviewed 55,504 applications, up 7 percent over the previous year. U-M offered admission to a total of 15,871 students. Of those offered admission, 6,689 enrolled for a yield of 42.1 percent.
“We continue to see strong interest from students throughout the state and across the nation in the world-class education that Michigan offers students,” Sanders says. The in-state freshmen come from 528 different high schools in Michigan — 38 more Michigan high schools than last year’s class.
Among in-state students, 44 percent (4,895) of the 11,067 students who applied were offered admission, and 3,391 in-state freshmen enrolled for a yield of 69.3 percent. That compares to 25 percent (10,976) of 44,437 out-of-state and international students who were offered admission. Among those, 3,298 enrolled for a yield of 30 percent.
Other attributes of the freshman class include:
• First-generation students make up 14.2 percent of the freshman class, up from 8.5 percent last fall. First-generation students are those who are United States citizens or permanent residents whose parents or guardians did not earn a bachelor’s degree.
• The percentage of first-year students eligible for and receiving federal Pell Grants is 17 percent, a steady increase from 15.3 percent in the fall 2015 freshman class. Pell Grants are designed to help low-income students attend college.
One program that increased key indicators of socioeconomic diversity in the freshman class, Ishop says, is the HAIL Scholarship program, which enrolled its first class of 262 students this fall.
HAIL is designed to actively attract and enroll high-achieving, low-income students from throughout Michigan through a new outreach approach that is being tested as part of a two-year pilot study. HAIL Scholars who apply and are admitted to U-M receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship.
Separate from the freshman class, transfer-student enrollment is up this fall by nearly 19.3 percent to 1,060 students, with 172 more students transferring to the Ann Arbor campus. This year’s transfer students tend to be more representative of underrepresented minorities, first-generation students and come from more low-income families than in 2015.
The university has a freshman retention rate of 97 percent and a six-year graduation rate of 91 percent, one of highest in the nation and well above the national average rate of 59 percent.