Spring enrollment numbers at the University of Montana show yet another semester of decline for the school, which is currently caught in a budget battle that has drawn vocal criticism from many departments. The new figures are unlikely to change that.

“This means the work on balancing this spring’s budget and then planning for fiscal year 2016 will continue as expected,” said UM spokesman Cary Shimek “In short, there were no surprises, but our headcount is down compared to a year ago.”

The numbers were not issued in a press release as they have been in the past, but appeared quietly on the UM Planning, Budgeting & Analysis web page showing a drop in attendance at the Mountain Campus of 724 students, a 6.5 percent drop from spring 2015.

The University of Montana also manages the Missoula College now, which saw even bigger declines with a drop of 967 students, a 7.5 percent drop.
The struggle to bend the curve of enrollment for next year will continue to be difficult as overall, enrollment for full-time freshmen students dropped by 23.6 percent.

“In the last few years we’ve really revamped our recruitment strategies and materials, but it has taken time for us to see the positive results that we are looking for,” Shimek said. “Spring headcount is at 11,955 right now, but I just met with the registrar’s office and some late additions have brought that up to right around 12,000.”

One of the largest sectors for enrollment decline was in those from outside of the state. International student enrollment dropped by 18.3 percent, non-residents student enrollment dropped by 14. 3 percent.