MnSCU sees record enrollment

Tim Post of MPR reports that enrollment in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system has hit another record.

More than 203,000 students are are enrolled in MnSCU’s 32 schools this fall. That’s a 2.7 percent increase over last year and the fifth consecutive year that enrollment has gone up.

MnSCU spokesperson Melinda Voss says the tough economy is behind the increase. People who’ve lost jobs continue to return to school and more workers are taking classes to update their jobs skills.

She tells Post:

There are more older adults who are coming to our colleges and universities because they do want to retool, start a new career, upgrade their career. We are particularly well-suited for those kinds of career changes.

Voss says enrollment grew among 25 to 34-year olds by 8 percent. It grew 6 percent among 35 to 44-year old students.

A few more tidbits that MnSCU released:

More students qualified for federally funded Pell grants. Students eligible for federally funded Pell grants grew by 18.3 percent. Pell grant eligibility is typically used by higher education institutions as an indication of family income.

More students returned from last year. Enrollment of continuing students was up 5 percent.

Part-time students are taking more credits. The number of students taking between nine and 11.9 credits grew by 12.2 percent. The number of students taking between 6 and 8.9 credits grew by 7 percent, while students taking fewer than six credits decreased.

The system attracted more students over age 24. Enrollment grew nearly 8 percent among 25- to 34-year-old students and nearly 6 percent among 35- to 44-year-old students.

More undergraduate students transferred. Transfer of undergraduate students also increased by 8.5 percent.