BILLINGS — The numbers are in now that the fall semester is in full swing and enrollment for Montana State University - Billings has grown by 2.3%.
This is the highest fall enrollment in four years, totaled after MSUB's 15th official class-day. The total count was 4,416 students.
Although the college is seeing a rise in enrollment, 724, or 6%, students are dual enrollment from 11 are high schools. Dual enrollment means they are either taking classes at their high school and receiving college credit, going to classes at MSU Billings to receive credit or both.
The number of full-time equivalent students at MSU Billings for fall 2019 did see a slump, decreasing by .9% from fall of 2018.
Chancellor Dan Edelman said MSUB has seen an increase especially in focus group areas - Hispanic students 5.9%, American Indian students 18.6%, Black students 22.5%, students receiving military benefits 2.7%, and first-generation students 1.9%.
"Growth has truly been a team effort, and they continue to build a culture of students-first," Edelman said. "Once you put students first, you provide them with the services they need. You tell them about the programs that we have, you get them the classes and the times that they need and the rest follows. It takes a lot of time and a team across the campus to accomplish that. We care about their success."
Edelman has been the chancellor of MSU Billings for 16 months and says it has been a lot of hard work by a lot of the right people.
"We have our leadership team in place so I can expect that we are going to continue to grow. The community has been fantastic. We have been able to raise more money for scholarships so we have been able to address the students needs. We have cut the cost of housing to make sure that students can go to school and make it affordable. There are a lot of things, it's not like a silver bullet. It is like a jigsaw puzzle. Every piece has to fit just right."
The next step Edelman says is looking at their three-phase program. MSU-B is in phase two, says Edelman.
"In phase three we are going to introduce some new programs that are important for the city of Billings and the state of Montana."