After graduating a record number of students in the last academic year, The University of Montana has experienced an enrollment drop for autumn semester 2012.

According to the UM Registrar’s Office, the autumn total headcount enrollment is 14,943, which is 726 fewer than the record enrollment logged one year ago. Interim Vice President for Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr, says the reasons for the drop in enrollment are as yet undetermined, however, speculation abounds.

The University has undergone a year of controversy and turmoil, with negative nationwide publicity surrounding the investigations of sexual assault .Kuhr acknowledges the difficulties, but also emphasizes the positive steps the University has taken to remedy the situation.

In addition to enrollment numbers, the University tracks the preparation level of incoming freshmen. This year’s freshman class has a higher percentage of students who have taken UM’s recommended full-college preparatory curriculum. The Office of Student Success reports that more than half of the freshman class – 52 percent – meet the recommendations, up from 44 percent in 2011.

UM Interim Vice President for Interim Communications Peggy Kuhr

Kuhr says