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UM fall enrollment dips, undergrads hold steady at 2019 levels

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Fall 2020 enrollment at the University of Michigan is down 183 students, or 0.5%, while undergraduate and freshman enrollment are both up slightly, the university announced Friday.

Overall enrollment is 47,907 compared to 48,090 last fall. That's only a difference of 183 students, despite a global pandemic and international student enrollments falling 10%.

Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment is actually up — by 37 students.

UM has 31,266 undergrad students enrolled for fall term, compared to 31,329 a year ago. The freshman class, 6,879 enrolled, is 49 students larger than a year ago.

The COVID-19 pandemic's arrival in March forced universities to send students home from spring semester and called into question the look of the fall semester, including the balance of in-person vs. remote learning, and whether or not there would be a football season.

In the months since, the virus is linked to the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans, including 7,100 Michiganians.

2019:UM enrollment rises, led by out-of-state students

Among the 11,941 international applicants offered admission, only 28% enrolled, UM said, which was the lowest since 2019.

"The drop is directly attributable to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," according to UM.

"What we're seeing is that many students are choosing to go to school closer to home, which is totally understandable," said UM's director of undergraduate admission Erica Sanders, in the UM statement. "The pandemic and some of the economic hardships that families are facing because of it have been huge factors in students' decisions this year."

UM's rival, Michigan State University, reported overall enrollment was down 2%, or 866 students, compared to fall 2019.

That will bring a revenue drop of $54 million. Freshman enrollment was down by 335 students. 

Earlier this month:MSU enrollment dip contributes to $54M revenue drop