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Chancellor: Northern enrollment numbers ‘mixed’ story

 

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While Montana State University- Northern again has seen a significant drop in the number of students enrolled from fall to spring semester, Chancellor Frank Trocki said this morning that doesn't tell the whole story. "We have increased the number of new students coming in," Trocki said, adding that the increase in new students is for both new first-time students as well as students transferring from other institutions. Northern saw a drop in actual bodies from 1,272 people last fall to 1,181 this spring. While the drop in total students is about the same as in the last two years, it still leaves the university with its highest springtime enrollment since 2007. A trend in the last decade of declining enrollment at Havre's campus has turned around in the last two years. After several years of drops in the number of students, including the largest decline in enrollment in the state in the fall of 2007, Northern saw a minute increase in The fall of 2008, with a head count of two more students. Last fall, Northern saw a larger increase, wi th an increase of 55 students from 2008, bringing the headcount to 1,272. In the fall of 2002, Northern had a headcount of 1,531, with a low of 1.215 in 20007. Trocki said several factors came into play wi th the decrease in numbers to this spring's head count. Very little of the decrease was due to student dissatisfaction, he added. "Students aren't leaving because they just don't like it," Trocki said. One of the largest factors was students graduating last semester, cutting back the number attending this spring, he said. Another is people not being able to afford to continue or losing academic eligibility. "Financial aid is one of the most significant (causes,) other than graduation," he said. Trocki said the university staff work with people having either problem, and resolve it when possible. "We have referrals, and we try to help them as much as possible throughout the year," Trocki said. "We try to handle it on a very personal level."

 
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