MnSCU enrollment up nearly 7 percent in recession

Vermilion Community College
Vermilion Community College in Ely, Minn., has 697 students enrolled this year; a 7.6 percent increase over last year's enrollment.
MPR Photo/Tom Weber

Fall enrollment in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has increased 7 percent over last year.

Nearly 199,000 students now attend MnSCU schools; that's 12,600 more than last fall. Enrollment was particularly strong at the system's community colleges where 13 campuses saw double-digit increases.

Mike Bruner, is vice president of student services at Century College in White Bear Lake, where enrollment is up almost 12 percent over last year, said the poor economy is behind the increase.

"History shows that will send more adults back to the classroom to reequip themselves for either their career or advancement in their current career, or either to finish a degree that they've had their sites on," Bruner said.

Only two MnSCU campuses saw a decrease in enrollment over the past year. Rainy River Community College in International Falls was down 5.6 percent. Minnesota State University-Moorhead's enrollment was down a tenth of a percent.

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