University of Montana officials are heartened by the fact that enrollment for the spring semester has held steady, despite the continuing COVID 19 pandemic.

UM Director of Strategic Communications, Dave Kuntz provided the numbers just released on Tuesday.

“Right now there are 9,500 students enrolled at the University of Montana,” said Kuntz. “That still includes record graduate student enrollment, as well as the 560 1st time students who enrolled in the spring. You know, as you know, usually the big freshman classes come in the fall after high school graduation, but we saw a pretty sizable first time student enrollment this spring, which is really encouraging.”

Kuntz emphasized the fact that there are two important parts to student enrollment.

“When you look at enrollment at the University of Montana or any institution, it's really a factor of two things,” he said. “It's bringing in new students, and then once they're on campus, keeping them there. The retention rate between the fall to spring semester was at 8%. this year, which is on par with where we've been in the last few years. This also speaks really highly of the efforts you have that students, staff and faculty have made to make this really unusual school year as normal as possible for the students who are enrolled.”

Kuntz said he was looking forward now after seeing the spring enrollment numbers.

“Going forward, it's exactly that, keeping students on track to graduate and to do so on time,” he said. We’re also working with high schools and a sizable chunk of students who graduated from high school in 2020, and took that gap year, really encouraging them to join the UM family next fall, and we hope that we're poised in a position to begin growing.”

Kuntz also praised the University of Montana School of Pharmacy for the efforts put forward in vaccinating patients against COVID 19.

“We've really leaned on the UM pharmacy students to work in conjunction with the Missoula City County Health Department to get as many shots in the arms of people as possible,” he said. “The university has hosted two mass vaccination clinics in the last 10 days, where we’ve been able to provide about 1500 vaccines to Missoulians who fall within that 1 B category. In addition, UM pharmacy students are crisscrossing Missoula on a weekly basis, vaccinating seniors who are living in retirement and assisted living homes.”

More information about UM’s 2021 spring census is available here.


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