BOZEMAN - As midterms begin for students at Montana State University, a record amount of freshman students are in the midst of turning in essays and Scantron sheets for their professors.
The overall enrollment for first-time Montana State University and Gallatin College MSU students is 3,871, breaking the previous record of 3,459 set in 2016. Despite a pandemic and implementations of virtual learning, the Bobcats remained steadfast in their recruitment efforts.
Lauren Kaiser-Jackson is a senior and a tour guide coordinator for the student guides - or "Advocats" - on campus. Kaiser-Jackson explains why she believes MSU is seeing such an impressive turn-out.
“Many schools weren’t giving tours anymore or weren’t having visits at all,” she said. “That made a big difference and I think that was a part of our biggest benefit last year while recruiting students.”
Tours today are limited to about ten people, and guides require masks to be worn while walking in academic halls and common spaces, but they can be taken off when outside. During the pandemic, however, masks were required in and outside.
“This year was a very good year, and it took a lot of work on everybody’s part on campus. It really showed what the campus is able to give and what the campus is willing to offer,” said Michael Ouert, Montana State University director of admissions.
One of the goals for MSU is to improve the diversity on campus, and this year they saw record-breaking numbers for Native American students - 811.
“It feels good to be on a campus with people that look like you; there’s a culture shock,” said Danielle Antelope, a senior.
Hosting events like football games, concerts, and in-person classes has allowed many students to feel safe while participating in college life.