Posted: October 22, 1999

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Enrollment at the 36 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities surged upward this fall, with two-year colleges and state universities reporting a 6.6 percent increase over fall 1998. The gain of 9,023 students brings the number of students enrolled to 146,678.

"This is the largest enrollment increase since the system was formed," said Chancellor Morris J. Anderson. "Minnesota students and parents are recognizing that our colleges and universities offer a high-quality education that can help them succeed in life and in work."

College enrollments are typically measured two ways * by a count of the total number of students being served at a point in time and by the number of credits taken by students in an academic year. Big gains were posted using either measure. The projected "full-year equivalent" enrollment for the 1999-2000 school year shows an increase of 5.9 percent, or the equivalent of about 6,343 new full-time students.

The fall enrollment increase more than makes up for a 4.3 percent enrollment decrease in fall 1998. That drop, Anderson said, was caused in part by a shift from an academic calendar based on quarters to one based on semesters.

"We were confident that enrollment would rebound this year, but this enrollment gain reflects more than that," he said. "Our colleges and universities have worked very hard updating programs, improving credit transfer and reaching out to students. Students are responding."

Anderson said that a system-wide public information campaign likely also contributed to the enrollment jump. Last year was the first year MnSCU distributed a comprehensive guide to all 36 state colleges and universities to thousands of high school students and counselors.

Individual enrollments numbers by institution.