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.