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First-year enrollment increases at all four U.P. universities expected to boost U.P. economy

All four U.P. universities—Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan, and Finlandia—saw increases in their first-year student enrollment this year. The growth is expected to bring in thousands of dollars across the U.P.’s economy. After an uncertain future during the pandemic, the increases provide relief for both the universities and the U.P. as a whole. The focus is now shifting to creating opportunities that will help those students stay in the U.P. after college.

Experiencing growth in both 2020 and 2021, LSSU’s new student population increased by 6.9% this year. LSSU is one of the only universities in the state that has seen growth for multiple years in a row. MTU has its largest incoming freshman class since 1982, seeing a 23% increase in first-year student enrollment and an overall increase of 102 students. Finlandia welcomed its largest incoming class in five years, increasing its overall enrollment by 6% and bringing its total enrollment to 430 students. NMU saw a more than 10% increase in first-year students—20.4% of which were out-of-state. Additionally, a larger percentage of NMU’s incoming class was made up of students of color, growing by nearly 15% from a year ago. Bay College also had a 7.5% increase in enrollment in both new and returning students.

As a part of our commitment to the Upper Peninsula, we collaborate with partners to share some of the most compelling stories about business and job growth across the region. Our goal through these stories is to get at the heart of what makes the U.P. unique — and to ensure these stories travel beyond our peninsula and broadly illustrate why the UP is the place to live and work.

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