Michigan colleges struggle to attract students

Tim Goral's picture

When Natilie Williams was considering where to go to college, she looked at several campuses before deciding to leave Chicago to attend Central Michigan University.

“They provide you with a solid foundation of mentors who work to help you academically, socially and professionally,” said Williams, a 20-year-old senior studying integrated public relations. “They really want you to succeed.”

To CMU and other Michigan universities, out-of-state students such as Williams are more coveted than ever, because Michigan is producing fewer high school graduates. Schools are strategizing ways to find alternatives to attract college-bound high school graduates and shore up their enrollment and finances.

“We happen to be in a tough spot right now,” said Tom Speakman, CMU director of admissions. The university faces an $18 million deficit in part because of a smaller incoming freshmen class and the shrinking pool of high school graduates, which is projected to continue for the next 15 years.

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