For the fifth-consecutive year, MSU has received a record number of freshman applications — topping the 30,000 mark for the first time in school history.
“I think it says some positive things about Michigan State University and its ability to draw students from not only the state of Michigan, but across the country and around the world,” MSU Director of Admissions Jim Cotter said.
In-state application numbers decreased this year by about 2.5 percent, while out-of-state numbers increased by about 1 percent, Cotter said.
2.5 percent decrease of in-state applications this year
1 percent increase of out-of-state applications
55 percent increase in international applications
7.5 total application percentage increase from 2011
30,400 estimated number of expected total applications for fall 2012
Source: Jim Cotter, director of MSU admissions
The biggest change came in international applications, which increased by 55 percent from last year.
The university still expects to receive a few hundred more applications by mid-summer, mainly from out-of-state students, Cotter said. The in-state numbers likely won’t rise at this point in the year, and the international application deadline closed Sunday, he said.
“This is a time when the number of high school graduates in the state of Michigan is decreasing and will continue to decrease until about 2022,” Cotter said, as the state’s population has declined.
He said there are many reasons that led to the record number of applicants, including having the largest study abroad program in the nation among public universities and the construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.
“There’s a very, very positive momentum that surrounds Michigan State University right now, and I think that momentum results in excitement and enthusiasm from students as they apply for admission,” he said.
Patrick Sweeney, a senior at LaSalle High School in St. Ignace, Mich., said he applied to MSU because he likes the campus and has been a lifelong fan of Spartan athletics. He said very few people from his school applied to MSU and most of those who did consider it a backup plan.
“(MSU) was the only college that really came to mind when I applied,” said Sweeney, who has accepted his admission offer and hopes to play golf at MSU in the fall.
Soumith Inturi, a senior at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester, Mich., said he also was accepted to MSU, adding the university is one of the most popular schools that people he knows have applied to.
Inturi said he is undecided and weighing his choice between either MSU or the University of Michigan. Inturi said he should have a better idea about his decision when he finds out if he gets into the U-M Honors Program.
“I’ll still consider MSU and continue to look at all the programs they have, and based on that, I’ll decide by May 1,” Inturi said.
Despite the record number of applicants, Cotter said the university does not plan to welcome another record number of freshmen next fall. MSU admitted 7,815 students in fall 2011, and Cotter said in a previous interview MSU hopes to admit about 7,350 students this year.
U-M also has broken a record it set last year for total freshman applications, with more than 41,600. School officials hope to have a smaller freshman class than last year as well, targeting a number below 6,000, according to AnnArbor.com.
“We look at projective modeling, (and) we use past information, but it also depends on the behavior of 17- and 18-year-olds in terms of making the decision about where it is they’re going to go to school,” Cotter said.