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WMU President Montgomery hails an increase in freshman enrollment

Two young men walk on a sidewalk. One is wheeling a bicycle. There are trees behind them on a lawn.
Cori Osterman
Walking on WMU's main campus Friday.

Western Michigan University says it has good news about freshman enrollment. It’s up by about a quarter over last year, WMU president Edward Montgomery announced at the Board of Trustees’ first meeting of the academic year.

Montgomery said the school has enrolled about 2500 first-year students this year, the highest number since before the pandemic. Montgomery says that’s the result of a university-wide push to increase enrollment.

“A great campus-wide effort yielded one of the biggest classes we've had in a long time. It’s very good and positive news,” he said.

Enrollment is still down since the beginning the Covid-19 era. But Montgomery said with the increase announced today, the school has closed more than half of the gap.

Like many colleges and universities across the country, Western has also experienced a long-term downward trend in enrollment, which began years before the pandemic.

“We are all trying to swim against the tide,” Montgomery said. “The good sign for us, was this really positive news on the new students. That's the beginning of what we can build on going forward.”

Montgomery also said international student enrollment has increased by 38 percent this year.