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The Eastern Echo Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Why Eastern Michigan University's fall enrollment increased

Diversity, renovations, and scholarship opportunities attract more students to Eastern Michigan University.

This fall, Eastern Michigan University students can expect to see many new faces as enrollment among first-year students increase.

Fall enrollment among first-year students has increased by 20%, from 1,867 new students in fall 2020 to 2,250 new students in 2021, according to a press release. There has also been a 7% increase in enrollment over the pre-pandemic incoming class of 2019.

The average GPA for incoming first-year students is 3.43, the highest it has ever been at EMU, officials said. Many of these students are also living on campus, raising the number from 2,031 in 2020 to 2,750 students this year.

Walter Kraft, vice president of communications at EMU, correlates the increase of enrollment due to the quality of staff and recent renovations made by the university.

“The high-quality faculty that we have, the 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and the relationships that students have with faculty are all a big part of what we talk about externally and hope that students share with friends and people in their hometowns about Eastern,” Kraft said. “The $40 million investment in Sill Hall and what that has meant to the College of Engineering and Technology, as well as the investments we’ve made to Strong Hall and the Rec/IM, are a big part of what we’re hearing back from students about why Eastern was the right choice for them.”

EMU’s incoming class this fall is 43.8% ethnically diverse, representing African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American communities, officials said. First-year international student enrollment has also increased by a rate of 60%, from 117 last year to 187 this year.

“A point of great distinction for us is that due to the diverse makeup of our student body, including international students, EMU provides a global classroom experience that very much mirrors and prepares students for the work world of today,“ EMU President James Smith said in a press release. "Graduates work side-by-side with people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and identities.”

EMU invests about $50 million in scholarships and financial aid for students, Kraft said. This investment helps offset the high costs that students pay.

Kyle Deetz, from Brighton, Michigan, is a freshman this year at EMU, and he believed the university would be a good place to focus on his general education classes as he figured out what major he would like to study.

“I knew people here, and it wasn’t too terribly far away,“ Deetz said. “They gave me a scholarship of $2,500 a semester.”

The scholarship Deetz is referring to is the Emerald Scholarship, which is based on GPA and U.S. citizenship. The amount given varies based on the criteria that can be found here.

First-year students moved into campus housing Aug. 26, officials said. Students who live in certain housing residents are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit their vaccination status by Sept. 30.

More information about vaccination requirements for student housing can be found here.