The University Record, November 9, 1998

Overall enrollment stable for fall 1998

By Julie Peterson & Janet Nellis Mendler
News and Information Services

Total enrollment for the Ann Arbor campus for fall 1998 remains virtually unchanged from the previous year, with the proportion of enrollment made up by various racial groups shifting very little, according to figures released Nov. 6.

Overall enrollment for this fall is 37,197, an increase of 0.5 percent (202 students) from 1997. The total represents undergraduate, graduate and graduate/professional (law, dental, medical) students, and visiting scholars.

This fall’s freshman enrollment reflects a planned reduction in the size of the incoming class. The number of new freshmen, 5,253, is 5.1 percent fewer than last year’s record-setting class of 5,534, but closer in size to the freshman classes of the past few years. Total new freshmen numbered 5,327 in fall 1996 and 5,149 in fall 1995. The University received more than 21,000 applications for its freshman class.

“It is with a sense of pride and accomplishment that we welcome this year’s freshman class,” said Provost Nancy Cantor. “Stellar students are attracted to the University of Michigan because they know about the values we embrace, about the reputation of our faculty, and about the experiences our graduates enjoy as a result of their Michigan education. They know we will provide them with an outstanding educational experience.”

In comparison with previous years, the U-M Class of 2002 has the largest number of students ranked in the top quarter of their graduating class and nearly 80 percent earned Advanced Placement test scores that enabled them to enter the University with college credit. Every state is represented, as are more than 100 foreign countries.

The incoming freshman class was split evenly between men and women this fall, with 2,650 entering freshmen who are women and 2,603 men. Overall, the undergraduate student body includes 12,017 men and 11,960 women.

A total of 8,243 minority students are enrolled this fall, representing 25.3 percent of the student body. Last year’s enrollment included 8,314 minority students, comprising 25.4 percent of the total. Enrollment percentages for various racial groups are calculated using an adjusted total enrollment, which includes only U.S. citizens and permanent residents. That adjusted total declined slightly from 1997 to 1998.

“Despite the challenges that threaten our ability to achieve excellence and diversity, the University of Michigan remains one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Our students are the foundation for our preeminence,” said Associate Provost Lester Monts.

Enrollment of African American students dipped slightly from 2,824 (8.6 percent) in 1997 to 2,771, or 8.5 percent, this fall. Hispanic student enrollment also fell slightly from 1,473 (4.5 percent) to 1,434, or 4.4 percent, in 1998. Enrollment of white students declined from 22,761 (69.5 percent) to 22,406, or 68.6 percent of the student body. Enrollment of Asian American students rose from 3,790 (11.6 percent) to 3,811 (11.7 percent), while enrollment of Native American students remained unchanged at 227 (0.7 percent).

“We should always expect some fluctuation in the number of students in the various racial and gender categories,” Monts noted.

Fall 1998 enrollment totals show 1,993, or 6.1 percent, in the “unknown” category. That number represents students who did not indicate their ethnicity or who marked “multiracial” but did not designate a primary ethnic identification. In 1997, 1,679 (5.1 percent) chose not to self-identify by race.

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