Posted: October 12, 2000

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Enrollment at the 35 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities surged upward again this fall, with two-year colleges and state universities posting a 3.3 percent increase over fall 1999. The gain of 4,840 students brings the number of students enrolled to 152,933. The jump follows a 6.6 percent increase last year, which was MnSCU's biggest enrollment increase ever.

College enrollments are measured two ways * by a count of the total number of students being served at a point in time and by the number of credits taken by students in an academic year. This year, like last year, gains were reported using either measure.

The projected "full-year equivalent" enrollment, which measures the total credits taken and equates them to full-time students, posted an increase of 3.1 percent for the 2000-2001 school year. The gain of 3,557 full-year equivalent students brings the total to 117,643. The "full-year equivalent" enrollment has jumped 10.1 percent from the 1998-99 academic year to the 2000-01 academic year.

"This is very good news," said Chancellor Morris J. Anderson. "Not only is the number of students we serve increasing, but the number of credit hours being taken is increasing too."

Anderson said he has made increasing student enrollment a priority. "On our campuses and at the system level, we are getting more aggressive in marketing to prospective students," he said. "And students are recognizing that a state college or university education in Minnesota is a very good value."

Three years ago, the system launched a campaign to inform high school sophomores, juniors and seniors about the opportunities available at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The centerpiece of the campaign is "Go Places," a free guide to all 35 colleges and universities within the system.

This year, the system has launched a drive to attract adults to go back to college. The campaign recognizes that the needs and questions are different for older students. The "Go Back. You're Ready" campaign utilizes a brochure and other media to address concerns that many working adults have about returning to school.

"Our colleges and universities have worked hard creating new programs, enhancing the quality of instruction and improving the student experience," said Anderson. "We are delighted that enrollment gains continue at a time when the economy is strong. It's a sign that we are reaching out effectively and responding to the needs of the marketplace."

(See the attached table for enrollment numbers for each of the 35 state colleges and universities.)