Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - University of Montana enrollment continues its upward trend with spring semester numbers announced this past week.

KGVO News spoke to UM Director of Strategic Communications Dave Kuntz on Presidents’ Day for the update.

UM Celebrates Steady Enrollment Growth in Spring Semester

“As we look comparing the spring 2024 to the spring 2023 enrollment population share on campus, the University is up about two and a half percent, which is equivalent to about 300 students,” began Kuntz. “So this is our sixth consecutive semester of growth here at the university and that's a big deal because not only are more students on our campus working towards graduation, but it also helps elevate budgets and revenue and the things that help us do a better job.”

Kuntz emphasized the fact that UM is a liberal arts university; however the fastest growing areas on campus are in health, forestry and business.

The Fastest Growing Colleges are Health, Forestry and Business

“We are rooted in the liberal arts,” he said. “We have our strong Humanities College, and a strong College of Arts and Media; however the fastest growing colleges at the University of Montana are the College of Health, the College of Forestry and Conservation, and the College of Business. So what really makes us so unique as a flagship public university is that there are multiple ways that folks can get through the door here at the university and work towards getting their degree.”

Kuntz was also encouraged by the number of UM students who are staying in school to finish their education and get their degrees, and referenced Monday’s KGVO Talk Back Show.

Kuntz said Eight Percent More Students are Finishing their Degrees

“Not only are we seeing more students enroll in the university, but as a result of these efforts, we're also seeing the persistence rates, meaning which students stay and get to graduation increase by about eight percent over the past six years,” he said. And so, to the point of your conversation on Talk Back today, I think the University of Montana is having it both ways, where we have these rich areas of study that have been a foundational component of UM for over 100 years, but we’re also adapting to the 21st century needs in that the students are really feeling the pressure to succeed early in the workforce.”

Click here for more details about the University of Montana.

Stores Missoulians Want at Southgate Mall

With so many changes happening at Southgate Mall, we asked which stores Missoulians would love to see come to the mall, here's what they said:

Gallery Credit: Ashley

More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM