CMU enrollment up 3.6 percent over last fall

Colorado Mesa University experienced 7.7 percent growth in out-of-state enrollment this fall semester, according to the university.

Overall enrollment grew by 3.6 percent compared with last year, according to the fall census, which is taken each year the day after Labor Day. The school experienced a net growth of 323 students, increasing the total number of students at Colorado Mesa’s Grand Junction and Montrose campuses and at Western Colorado Community College this fall to 9,369.

Forty percent of students in the Colorado Mesa system as of Sept. 3 are from Mesa County, according to the census. Another 15.2 percent are from neighboring counties of Garfield, Montrose or Delta. Eighty-seven percent of students came from somewhere in Colorado.

While the number of international students decreased slightly, going from 42 last fall to 41 this fall, the number of out-of-state students coming to Colorado Mesa increased by 84 students year over year to 1,179 this fall.

Rick Taggart, Colorado Mesa Executive Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment, said recruiting efforts paid off this year in various states targeted for compatibility with western Colorado living. California and Arizona had the biggest increases, with enrollment among California students increasing from 62 last fall to 78 this fall and Arizona enrollment going from 27 last year to 41 this year. Taggart said the school also recruited more students this year from Utah, Texas, Hawaii and a relatively new target, the upper Midwestern states of Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois.

The university hopes an increased focus on international student recruitment during the last four years and new developments in out-of-country recruitment that are on the way soon will increase international enrollment in the next few years, Taggart said.

“The single biggest reason (to increase international recruitment efforts) is the diversity it brings to campus,” Taggart said. “We are all working today in a global society. I just think it’s critical to a student experience.”

Other census highlights include:

■ Growth in students age 24 or younger outpaced growth for non-traditional students, with a 6.8 percent drop in students age 25 or older this fall compared to last fall and a 7.1 percent increase in traditional students.

■ The number of students eligible due to financial need for a federal Pell grant fell by 29 students year-over-year while the portion of students not eligible for a Pell grant increased by 340.

■ Freshmen and sophomore enrollment decreased by 1.1 percent this fall compared with last fall, while the number of juniors and seniors increased by 11.6 percent.


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