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UMass expects to hit record enrollment level this fall; 25 percent overall jump in past decade

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  September 18, 2013 04:30 PM

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A record-high 71,988 students are expected to enroll this fall across the University of Massachusetts’ five campuses, which has seen enrollment surge by 25 percent over the past decade, officials announced Wednesday.

UMass Lowell saw the biggest year-to-year projected enrollment gain, at 3.8 percent, followed by UMass Boston at 1.5 percent, UMass Amherst at 1.2 percent and Dartmouth at 0.2 percent, according to a report released by university officials.

The projected record enrollment for this fall represents 1,214 more students than last fall, an increase of 1.7 percent, according to UMass President Robert L. Caret, who released the figures at Wednesday’s trustee board meeting in Amherst.

“We are seeing more accomplished students this year, with average high school grade point averages and freshman average SAT scores rising, which we think reflects well on the high quality of education that UMass provides,’’ Caret said in a statement. “Students know that when they walk through our doors, they will be guaranteed a high quality, affordable education that will provide the keys to their success.’’

The UMass trustee board on Wednesday also gave final approval to a plan to spend up to $3.8 billion on campus construction and renovation projects over the next five years.

Officials project there will be 14,519 more students this fall compared to a decade ago, which represents a 25 percent increase from the 57,469 students who were enrolled in the fall of 2003, officials said.

Over the past six years alone, the system’s enrollment has grown by 10,954 students.

Enrollment is projected to rise at all five of the campuses this fall compared to last year, except at UMass Medical School in Worcester, where enrollment held steady at 1,160 students.

UMass said it also received 73,058 applications for undergraduate admission this year, a 5.4 percent rise compared to last year for the four campuses that admit undergraduates; UMass Medical School in Worcester does not.

UMass Lowell saw the highest proportional increase in applications this year, which were up 18.7 percent. At the Amherst campus, applications rose 3.8 percent, while Dartmouth and Boston saw gains of 2.6 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

“Demand for an education at the University of Massachusetts continues to be strong and that challenges us to continue to meet the very high expectations and standards of students and their families who are counting on us to deliver value and excellence on each of our campuses,’’ the statement from Caret said.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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