UMBC’s enrollment has recently increased to record levels. Photo by MIckey Kovich.
UMBC has had a surge in both undergraduate and graduate enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year, with the undergraduate enrollment increasing considerably. UMBC has gained significant exposure in the past year with the March Madness upset against UVA last spring, as well as the recent ranking on U.S. News for ‘Best Undergraduate Teaching’ and ‘Most Innovative Schools’.
Another notable benchmark for UMBC is owed to Naomi Mburu, who was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship last November. When asked why the rates have increased, Dr. Mozie-Ross, vice provost of enrollment management at UMBC, said, “It first has to do with the increased notoriety that UMBC is getting about academic reputation and the wonderful experience that students are having here … we’re starting to increase our alumni base, and our graduates are doing great things and making great contributions.”
As of 2018, UMBC has an undergraduate enrollment of 11,260 students, 9,623 of which are full time, while 1,637 are part-time. This is more than last school year’s full-time undergraduate enrollment, which stood at 9,543. We have a total graduate enrollment of 2,507. “We’ve been experiencing about a 3% increase in applications every year, and what we’re starting to see this fall. . . we’re starting to see [an] increase in what we call our “Retriever Days”, which are UMBC visit days for prospective students,” states Mozie-Ross. “We suspect that will then lead to an additional increase in applications.”
College enrollment has also increased significantly nationwide. In 2000, the number of students enrolled was approximately 13.2 million. By 2016 the number increased by 28% to 16.9 million. An estimated 17.4 million students will be enrolled in a post-secondary institution by 2027. The increase is believed to be caused by changes in the labor market and the economy. Jobs are in high demand and the market is highly competitive. A bachelor’s degree is becoming more requested from employers, even further education necessary for some. Furthermore, working citizens gain new skills and build their experience by enrolling in courses at a university or community college. This helps open more avenues and provide more opportunities within their careers.
The increase of enrollment at UMBC impacts our whole community as students and faculty. “It increases the value of our degree. When we go out and about, people know who you are … they know how prepared the graduates are, and they are more willing to provide more job opportunities for the graduates,” says Mozie-Ross. “It’s not just about increasing enrollment, it’s about making sure our students are attracting diversity to UMBC. It’s about attracting students with diverse academic interests.” The diversity at UMBC is part of what makes the school unique, as it focuses on “inclusive excellence and innovation.” As more students continue to enroll, the UMBC community is bound for more success.