WMU blames enrollment decline on low birth rate


BRIAN:..IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL TIME FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS ACROSS THE STATE, BUT SOME COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN OUR AREA ARE SEEING A DROP IN NUMBERS.AMONG THEM –WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY..MARLEE:..NEWS 8’S KYLE MITCHELL SPOKE WITH WMU LEADERS TODAY.HE’S LIVE ON CAMPUS WITH WHAT COULD BE BEHIND THE NUMBERS. 3 KYLE:..IT’S A COMPETITIVE WORLD TO ATTRACT STUDENTS TO COLLEGE CAMPUSES.AT COLLEGES ACROSS MICHIGAN, IT COULD BE MORE THAN A DECADE FOR THE NUMBERS TURNAROUND. 3 WESTERN STUDENTS HAVE BARELY UNPACKED THEIR BAGSa& CHRISTIAN SMILOMORGAN / FRESHMAN STUDENT38:33 “CAMPUS WAS NICE I LIKE KALAMAZOO AND IT JUST SEEMED LIKE A GOOD PLACE TO JUST SEEMED LIKE A KALAMAZOO AND IT JUST SEEMED LIKE A GOOD PLACE TO SPEND FOUR YEARS OF COLLEGE.” HANNAH KOESTER / FRESHMAN STUDENT 15:44 “IT WAS A PERFECT DISTANCE AWAY FROM MY HOME. I COULD LIVE HERE BUT IF I NEEDED TO GO HOME I COULD GO HOME.”a& BUT THIS YEAR THERE WILL BE FEWER FRESHMAN WALKING AROUND CAMPUS.WESTERN’S LATEST PROJECTIONS SHOW ABOUT A 4 PERCENT DROP IN ENROLLMENT THIS FALL. JENNIFER BOTT / PROVOST, MICHIGAN 29:52 “ONE OF THE MOST PRESSING REASONS THAT MOST INSTITUTIONS ARE FACING A SIMILAR DECLINE IN ENROLLMENT IS SIMPLY DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS.”BOTT SAYS THE DROP IS SOMETHING MANY COLLEGES ARE DEALING WITH ACROSS THE COUNTRY.29:58 “THE MIDWEST AND THE NORTHEAST ARE THE TWO MOST HEAVILY IMPACTED BY A LACK OF COLLEGE-GOING FRESHMAN.”WITH A DROP IN THE BIRTHRATE 18 YEARS AGO COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ARE COMPETING FOR A SMALLER NUMBER OF STUDENTS AND IT COULD BE MORE THAN A DECADE BEFORE THE NUMBERS REALLY IMPROVE.30:03 “WE EXPECT TO SEE THAT TURNAROUND IN 2031, 32 ACADEMIC YEAR.”THE UNIVERSITY IS MAKING MAJOR UPDATES TO ITS FACILITIES BY BUILDING A MORE THAN $60 MILLION DORMITORY, ALONG WITH A NEW STUDENT’S CENTER, DINING HALL, AND RENOVATIONS TO THE WALDO LIBRARY.WESTERN HOPES THE IMPROVEMENTS WILL IMPRESS PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS.30:34 “CERTAINLY AROUND THE REGION YOU’LL SEE THAT MOST INSTITUTIONS ARE COMPETING FOR THE SAME POOL OF STUDENTS BOTH IN STATE AND INCREASINGLY OUT OF STATE.”FRESHMAN STUDENTS WILL SEE ALL THE MAJOR CHANGES PLANNED FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.39:19 “I’M REALLY EXCITED FOR WHAT’S TO COME AROUND HERE AND EXCITED TO SEE THE NEW CHANGES.”45:11 “I GUESS IT’S GOT TO CHANGE WITH THE TIME.” 3 3 KYLE:..UNIVERSITIES KYLE:.. UNIVERSITIES HAVEN’T GONE THROUGH THE OFFICIAL FALL STUDENT COUNT JUST YET BUT HERE ARE A FEW THAT WERE ABLE TO PROVIDE SOME PROJECTIONS. ENROLLMENT IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE AT KALAMAZOO COLLEGE, WITH SLIGHT DECREASES AT HOPE AND CALVIN. 3 KYLE:..LIVE ON THE CAMPUS OF WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, KYLE MITCHELL NEWS 8.

Michael Martin

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