MSUM Fall Semester enrollment follows trends

Fall Semester enrollment at Minnesota State University Moorhead is following anticipated trends with growth in certain categories of students and a decrease in undergraduate enrollment. After 30 days of classes, the date official enrollment at Minnesota State campuses is tabulated, MSUM graduate enrollment increased 19 percent from 872 one year ago to 1,032 this Fall, undergraduate enrollment declined 6.2 percent from 5,147 in Fall 2017 to 4,828.  Total enrollment declined 3 percent, 5,860 compared to 6,019 one year ago. 

“We made significant investments in areas of high student demand and are pleased that students are finding that these programs are meeting their needs,” said President Anne Blackhurst. “In particular, graduate enrollment has increased with the addition of programs such as our new Doctor of Education program, which has 40 students enrolled.  This semester, our 18-Online program is helping 267 K-12 teachers earn the advanced academic credentials they need for their careers. Plus, last summer we had our highest summer enrollment ever.”

The decline in undergraduate students is part of a national trend that is being especially felt in the Northeast and Midwest.  In Minnesota, a decline in the number of graduating high school seniors is expected to gradually stabilize with a faster local increase projected as the Fargo-Moorhead region continues to grow in population. 

“MSUM is fortunate to be located in a community where there is a growing demand for university degrees and the strong job market is bringing new people to our community and region,” said Blackhurst.  “Our job at MSUM is to continue to evaluate our program offerings and invest in those programs and delivery means that meet student demand.  Healthcare, business and education are areas where the local business community is telling us there is room for expansion and we are evaluating how to meet these strategic growth opportunities.”

MSUM enrolled 1,986 new first-time graduate and undergraduate students in Fall 2018, an increase of 354 new students from the number enrolled in Fall 2015. This increase is significant because each new student has the potential to impact enrollment for four years.

One trend MSUM is tracking is a decline in the number of credits taken in face to face classrooms and whether this means that a number of students are taking fewer classes or just taking more classes online.  Another trend is a widespread decline of international students taking classes in the United States.  In 2014, MSUM had 433 international students compared to 290 in Fall 2018.