ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

MnSCU reports enrollment increase, but Rainy River CC drops nearly 20 percent

Total enrollment at the 32 schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is up nearly 3 percent over last year, according to numbers released Friday.

Total enrollment at the 32 schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is up nearly 3 percent over last year, according to numbers released Friday.

Growing numbers of students of color and high school students helped increase fall semester enrollment to 186,150 students, 5,302 more than last year, according to MnSCU officials. Last year, MnSCU's enrollment increased by 4.5 percent.

The enrollment picture was mixed at the Northland's colleges, with some schools seeing healthy increases while others saw declines that, on a percentage basis, were the worst in the state.

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College reported a fall headcount of 2,172 students, a 3.4 percent increase over last year. Lake Superior College's enrollment was 4,343 students, a 0.6 percent increase. Hibbing Community College's enrollment was 1,512, a 6.8 percent increase. Mesabi Range and Technical College's enrollment was 1,467, an 8.6 increase.

But Itasca Community College reported an enrollment of 1,139, a 1.6 percent drop from last year. Vermilion Community College's enrollment was 648, an 8.1 percent decline. And Rainy River Community College's enrollment was 342, a 19.9 percent decline. That was the largest percentage decline in the MnSCU system. ICC's enrollment drop was the second largest percentage drop.

ADVERTISEMENT

Statewide, the number of students of color fall grew from 25,273 last year to 27,446 this year, an 8.6 percent increase. The number of white students increased 2.6 percent.

Enrollment of high school students in college courses, through the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program, grew by 4.5 percent. And the number of students taking online course grew 16 percent.

Commenting on the system-wide enrollment increase, MnSCU Chancellor James H. McCormick said in a news release that the modest enrollment increase reflects both the changing demographics of Minnesota and a growing interest in college courses among high school students.

"We have been working hard to increase access to higher education," he said. "Our new and expanded programs to recruit and retain students, particularly from underrepresented groups, may be bearing fruit. We must make sure more young people complete high school and enroll in a post-secondary program to ensure Minnesota remains competitive."

Related Topics: EDUCATIONIRON RANGE
What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.