Detroit Regional Chamber > Education & Talent > Enrollment at Michigan Colleges Ticks Up After Years of Decline

Enrollment at Michigan Colleges Ticks Up After Years of Decline

February 8, 2024

Photo credit: University of Michigan

Crain’s Detroit Business
Feb. 8, 2024
Sherri Welch

Enrollment at Michigan’s colleges and universities increased slightly last fall after more than 10 years of declines for four-year universities and ups and downs at community colleges.

The gains come after COVID-19 pandemic-spurred losses, as well as a shrinking high school pipeline and economic factors. The upticks coincided with the rollout of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship last fall, but leaders also credit the increases to the retreat of the pandemic and other factors.

Grant funding is growing at the state level with the achievement scholarships and federal level with increased Pell grants, providing more financial incentive for students to enroll, said Colby Spencer Cesaro, Vice President at Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities, an association representing two dozen private colleges and universities.

Institutions in Michigan are also expanding their outreach to student populations that are typically underserved and getting creative with direct-admissions programs, increased transfer agreements and expansion of dual-enrollment programs for high school students, she said.