News: Press Releases

Students at UMass Dartmouth campus
September 21, 2016

Enrollment at UMass reaches record 74,678 students, continuing long surge

  • The UMass System
President Meehan says students and families continue to opt for UMass quality and value

LOWELL – Continuing a decade-long surge, enrollment at the University of Massachusetts is projected to surpass 74,000 students for the first time, rising to 74,678 students enrolled across the five campuses, President Marty Meehan announced today.

Speaking at a Board of Trustees meeting held at UMass Lowell, President Meehan said: “When it comes to the quality and excellence of a UMass education, what you see now is a consistency of acclaim that we can only regard as heartening. And well earned.”

President Meehan added: “UMass continues to grow as more and more students and their families recognize the value that our university provides.” 

Over the past decade, student enrollment at UMass has risen almost 27 percent – from 58,939 in the fall of 2006 to the current 74,678 – making UMass one of the fastest-growing universities, public or private, in the nation.

In the recently released U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings, the four UMass undergraduate campuses for the first time are all represented in the magazine’s top category, making UMass one of the few systems in the nation to have each campus so recognized. 

The flagship campus in Amherst rose two spots to be named the 27th best public university in the nation, and UMass Lowell continued its rapid rise, jumping to 78th among public universities. The UMass Boston and UMass Dartmouth campuses vaulted into the Top Tier to tie at 220th among all national universities.  Roughly 1 in 10 degree-granting four-year colleges and universities in the country made the National Universities listing this year.

President Meehan noted: “Rising enrollment reflects what we constantly hear from students and their parents across the Commonwealth – that UMass was the best decision they ever made.”

Projections show a 1.3 percent increase to 74,678 undergraduate and graduate students in the system this year.

Victor Woolridge, chairman of the Board of Trustees, noted that enrollment gains in the UMass system were especially impressive considering the continued decline in the number of high school students graduating from the Commonwealth’s high schools. “At UMass, every campus strives for and achieves excellence. Word is out about the excellent value a UMass education provides,” he said.

Buttressing that point, UMass Lowell student Trustee Malinda Reed said that she applied to and was accepted by a number of major private universities, but in the end, decided that UMass Lowell provided the best value. Reed said: “I will graduate with a degree comparable to the top private colleges. I made the best decision of my life.”

The total number of undergraduate students in the UMass system rose 1.2 percent to a projected 56,927 students, up from 56,258 in the fall of 2015. The number of graduate students in the system rose 1.5 percent to a projected 17,751 students from 17,486 students last year.

Enrollment at UMass Medical School, which is strictly at the graduate level, increased 2.3 percent to a projected 1,104 students, compared to 1,079 students last year. Applications rose 119.2 percent to a projected 4,126 this year, which is the first year that the medical school opened a limited number of seats to out-of-state students.  Last year UMass Medical received 1,882 applications.

Contact Jan Brogan, 781-467-9900