Enrollment growth outpacing expectations

By MEGHAN O’NEAL/Montana State News

In a five-year vision release by Montana State University in 2009, the college stated they wanted student enrollment to increase to approximately 13,000 students, a goal they have far exceeded.

Current enrollment sits at 14,153 students. This makes 1,153 more students than the original preferred target. MSU freshmen make up 4,158 of the current population with 2,669 of those undergrads coming straight out of their senior year of high school.

With this increase of new freshmen, MSU has seen a few problems with housing. The university has, however, been working on amending these issues by adding the new freshman apartments and updating the older facilities.

These recently built freshman apartments house four to five students per residence and allow the freshmen to live in an apartment-like environment rather than the hustle and bustle of the residence halls. The freshmen apartments are located within graduate housing.

Over the years, MSU has seen fluctuations in its enrollment, due to a variety of factors including economic changes, the baby boomer generation, and wars. However, since 2007, MSU has seen a steady increase in student population.

In fact, there has been an increase of 1,982 students in these four years alone with an average increase of 396.4 students per year. In the previous 22 years, the average increase of student population was only at 171.64 per year.

The five-year vision also stated that they wanted the out of state population to increase, as well as the number of international students. The Office of Planning and Analysis is happy with this goal so far, and the population of international students has increased from 394 to 450 since 2009.

Montanans still make up a majority of the overall enrollment, but the out-of-state students are steadily catching up at 35 percent of enrollment.

Edited by Sam Middlestead.

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