First-year applications up for first-gen, underrepresented students

March 30, 2022

The University of Michigan received a record number of applications from prospective first-year students hoping to come to campus this fall, including sizable increases in a number of key demographics.

More than 84,000 students applied for the fall 2022, which is a 6% increase over the nearly 80,000 applications the Office of Undergraduate Admissions received last year. The fall term application deadline was Feb. 1.

The overall increase included upticks in applications from first-generation students (17%), in-state students (1%), out-of-state domestic students (5%), international students (13%) and students of color (8%).

Applications among historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups also increased 5%, including a 7% increase in Black applicants and a 5% increase in Latino applicants.

While applications overall have increased annually, achieving growth in key areas means that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is better accomplishing its mission of not only recruiting applicants who are academically excellent and accomplished in extracurricular endeavors, but also broadly diverse, said Erica Sanders, director of undergraduate admissions.

“We know there are talented, high-achieving students of all backgrounds who can be successful at the University of Michigan,” Sanders said. “It is through close collaboration with the financial aid office and working with campus partners including our schools and colleges that we’ve had success in engaging these students and their families.”

A return to in-person recruitment events, coupled with robust virtual programming, helped to introduce prospective students to “the depth and breadth of academic, social and community engagement opportunities available at the university,” Sanders said.

Applications to U-M were down 7% among those who identify as low-income, mirroring national trends.

A December report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center showed that the rates at which students have enrolled in college during the pandemic have fallen “by unprecedented levels,” with disproportionately large drops among those from high-poverty or low-income high schools.

U-M has committed to increasing its enrollment of low-income students as part of the American Talent Initiative, a national effort that brings together 128 colleges and universities under the shared goal of increasing by 50,000 the number of low- and moderate-income students enrolled nationwide by 2025.

“Through our commitment with ATI and initiatives like the Go Blue Guarantee, the University of Michigan has made it clear that college affordability is a top priority, especially for our in-state students,” said Adele Brumfield, vice provost for enrollment management.

The Go Blue Guarantee offers free tuition for up to four years for high-achieving, in-state, full-time undergraduate students with family incomes of $65,000 or less and assets of less than $50,000.

The undergraduate admissions office has released the majority of first-year application decisions, although some academic units admitting first-year students will continue to release decisions into April. Decisions for transfer students will be released by mid-April.

To secure a spot on campus next fall, admitted students must pay their $300 enrollment deposit by May 1, commonly known as “National College Decision Day.”

“This is an exciting time of the year for our university and our admitted students,” Sanders said. “We look forward to welcoming another class of the Leaders and Best.”


This article originally appeared in the March 29, 2022 edition of The University Record