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Enrollment hits record high at University of Michigan

Kim Kozlowski

At the state’s most prestigious public university, 11,489 Michigan students applied to get into the 2017 fall class. Of those, less than half — 44.5 percent — were offered admission to the University of Michigan, and 3,537 accepted.

The new in-state UM students are part of the university’s record-breaking enrollment figures, with 46,002 students in undergraduate and graduate programs, up 2.9 percent over fall 2016, university officials announced Thursday.

It’s the largest enrollment in the university’s history, spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said.

The figures are part of an annual census showing students’ place of origin, race, ethnicity, gender and some barometers of income.

Among the figures: The number of applicants to UM for this fall was an all-time high: 59,886, up 7.9 percent from last year.

Of the out-state applicants, 39,274 came from the U.S. while 9,123 were international. The university offered admission to 22.2 percent of those two groups, or 10,755 prospective students. Of those who were offered admission, 3,310 out-state or international students enrolled. Most — 3,000 — are domestic.

“We continue to see strong interest in the University of Michigan, with applications from highly qualified, extremely talented and very passionate students,” said Erica Sanders, director of undergraduate admissions. “In our holistic evaluative process, academic excellence remains the most important component. Likewise, a student’s interest in the university and fit with our institutional mission and goals have become increasingly critical in distinguishing top candidates among such a large and qualified pool.”

UM’s 2017 enrollment includes a freshman class of 6,847 students.

Among the incoming freshmen 906 are underrepresented minorities, or 13.9 percent of the class, an increase from 10.6 percent in 2013. The freshman class includes 277 black students, 479 Hispanic, 11 Native American, eight Hawaiian and 131 from two or more underrepresented minorities.

Underrepresented minorities make up 12.8 percent of UM’s 29,821 undergraduates. Blacks make up 4.96 percent of UM’s student population while Hispanics have been gaining ground, making up 6.67 percent.

Meanwhile, 1,017 UM freshmen receive Pell Grants, a federal grant for low-income students. That’s 15.6 percent of the class, up from 14.5 percent in fall 2013.

First-generation students make up 12.4 percent of the freshman class, up 10.9 percent from five years ago.

The figures come as UM is preparing to launch a pivotal project offering four years of free tuition on the Ann Arbor campus to in-state students with family incomes of $65,000 or less. Known as the Go Blue Guarantee, the program will begin in January.

“The university has taken numerous actions to ensure access and affordability for low and moderate-income in-state students, while maintaining our high academic profile,” said Kedra Ishop, vice provost for enrollment management.