PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Preliminary figures show that enrollment at the University of Maine at Presque Isle is down slightly over last year, but the college has attracted more in-state students to campus.
UMPI President Don Zillman said Wednesday that enrollment now stands at just under 1,400 students. That is a slight decrease from the last year’s fall enrollment figure of 1,455 students.
At the same time, more Maine residents have chosen the Presque Isle campus.
The president noted that roughly 1,100 students attending UMPI this year are from Maine.
“I expect that the increase in that figure is due to the economy,” Zillman said Wednesday. “We have even had a few people come to UMPI this year after enrolling in another in-state school. But they thought about it or crunched the numbers and realized that they can save money and get the same education by sticking closer to home.”
Zillman attributed the enrollment decline in part to a drop in Canadian students enrolled in the teacher education program at UMPI.
For more than 20 years, it has been difficult for students from Maritime Canada to get into the limited number of teacher education slots at Canadian universities. Now, Canadian universities are doing more to keep students in that country.
“There are more opportunities over in Canada for students now,” Zillman acknowledged. “The drop in that area has been an ongoing situation here, but we will be concentrating more on recruiting those students in the future, so I do expect to see an uptick in that figure in the years to come.”
He added that a number of this year’s enrollees are nontraditional students who have returned to school after decades in the work force.
The atmosphere on campus is bright, he said Wednesday.
“It is great to be back on campus and see the returning students and the new students and faculty,” said Zillman. “We are ready for another great year.”
Final enrollment numbers will be released in October.