UMaine enrollment up for 12th straight year

Posted Aug. 28, 2009, at 12:45 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine says enrollment for the fall semester is up 1 percent over last year.

With classes beginning Monday, the state’s flagship university in Orono is projecting an enrollment of 11,925, marking the 12th consecutive year of growth.

President Robert Kennedy said Friday the increase is partly due to improved student retention. The retention rate for students enrolled last fall is 79 percent, up 3 percent over last year.

But the school also is dealing with a declining number of first-year students. There are 1,803 incoming freshmen this fall, down from last year’s total of 2,094.

Kennedy said the decrease is due to the poor economic conditions and a decline in the number of students graduating from Maine high schools.

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