Posted: November 1, 2001

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Enrollment this fall is the largest in recent history at the 34 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, where the projected full-year-equivalent enrollment in credit-based courses is 123,225 for this academic year. That represents a 3.6 percent increase from actual FYE enrollment of 118,907 in the 2000-2001 school year.

Fall headcount enrollment has increased even more dramatically over last fall, with a jump of 5.6 percent. This fall, 161,972 students are enrolled in credit classes, compared with 152,018 in fall 2000. This is the third consecutive year for headcount increases.

"The enrollment increases are a clear indication that more people are becoming aware of the excellent opportunities offered by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the reasonable cost of tuition on our campuses," said Chancellor James H. McCormick in announcing the enrollment figures today. "Clearly, students are voting with their feet."

"Many factors contribute to enrollment, of course, but people certainly recognize higher education will give them an edge in the workforce, especially during a time of widespread concerns about the economy," McCormick said.

Additionally, enrollment of new students is up 8 percent this fall, compared with the overall increase of 5.6 percent.

Campus officials attribute the enrollment gains to various factors, including new academic programs, more students transferring to continue their education, higher retention of current students, more effective marketing and personal contact by admissions staff. The economic downturn also may be prompting more people to start school or return to upgrade their skills or change career directions. Some cited local business layoffs as a factor in the increased student numbers.

The full-year-equivalent enrollment is a measure calculated by counting the number of credits taken and equating them to full-time students. The headcount represents the number of students enrolled in credit courses at a particular point in time. Normally, the count is taken on the 30th day of class at each institution, but because of the state employee union strike, the headcount was made Oct. 26.

(click here for enrollment numbers at each of the 34 state colleges and universities and enrollment trend charts.)