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Enrollment breaks record for fifth year

By Jennifer Calfas, Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 16, 2013

“Due to the ban, we have not been able to continue to grow, but we’ve been doing everything we can across the country to say that the University is identifying students of all backgrounds and doing the best we can to let them know Michigan welcomes them and can provide a good education.”

Spencer added that the University understands that a diverse environment allows students to learn better, as it reflects more of a real-life situation.

LSA junior Sarah Ballew, co-chair of the Native American Student Association, said she was unimpressed with the slight increase in minority student enrollment this year. Although affirmative action is banned, Ballew said the University should reach out more to minority groups, as Spencer says they try to do.

“Coming to such a prominent University, diversity is so important because you really need to have the perspectives of many different people,” Ballew said. “It creates an enriched student life curriculum, and what it really boils down to is having representation and having minorities in the academic setting helps learning.”

As tuition rates increase each year in part due to dwindling state appropriation, the number of non-resident students enrolled has gone up as well.

Overall, the University hosts 21,947 in-state students, 15,704 out-of-state students and 6,059 international students, approximately 50 percent, 36 percent and 14 percent respectively.

For the 2012-2013 academic year, there was a total of 43,426 students enrolled: 51 percent in-state, 35 percent out-of-state and 14 percent international students.

This year, non-resident underclassmen spend an average of $53,490 per year at the University for all cost of attendance expenses, while lower division resident students pay $26,240 each year. While the University ensures full need-based financial aid is met for residents, University Provost Martha Pollack said in March that the University hopes to eventually meet full need-based financial aid for non-resident students as well.

This aid will be supplemented by a record amount of financial aid from the University, which is dedicating $161.2 million for undergraduate and graduate need-based financial aid, and increase of $16.4 million from last year. The University’s upcoming capital campaign — set to launch Nov. 8 — has a $1-billion goal for student support to be raised over the next few years.

As housing renovations continue with South Quad and, next year, West Quad, University Housing works closely with the Office of Admissions to ensure that each freshman has guaranteed housing.

University Housing spokesman Peter Logan said the housing renovations have challenged University housing to get creative with their layouts pending the growing student body. To accommodate freshmen, the housing staff bases the number of spaces to make available for freshmen off of projections made by the Office of Admissions.

With renovations underway, the housing staff has converted former common study spaces into bedrooms that can fit two to four students and has made Northwood III apartments a “first-year living community” — meaning a residence reserved solely for freshman.

This year, 5,330 freshmen, 2,643 sophomores, 878 juniors, 466 seniors and 1,270 graduate students live in University housing.

Correction Appended: A previous version of this article misstated the per-year cost of attendance for non-resident and resident students.