December 30, 2005
The official census for enrollment at the seven University of Maine System campuses released in the final quarter of 2005, again shows the University of Maine at Fort Kent as the fastest growing campus in the system.
The northernmost campus realized an enrollment gain of 10 percent over the fall of 2004. The figures show UMFK had 1,193 students enrolled in classes this past fall, the largest-ever number of students enrolled in the institution's 127-year history, and the second consecutive year the campus student body has numbered over 1,000.
In the first semester of the 2004-2005 academic year, UMFK had 1,076 students registered.
"There are many factors attributing to this increase, but certainly at the top of the list is the growing recognition of the importance of attending a small campus," said UMFK President Richard Cost. "Our institution has clearly-defined its top assets, which include a close-knit campus community, a unique rural location, an abundance of wonderful recreational opportunities, and a friendly bilingual community we call home. New and returning students are discovering these treasures."
The 10 percent increase comes on the heels of a record-breaking 17 percent jump in enrollment last fall, when the institution saw its largest-ever incoming class of 399 students.
Comparatively, the total number of students in the fall 2005 incoming class is down slightly at 364, but remains ahead of the previous record high entering class of 357 students in the fall of 2003.
Two areas attributing to the growth in UMFK's overall student population this fall, are a high retention of matriculating students and a more than doubling in the number of students at other campuses enrolling in distance education courses originating from Fort Kent.
UMFK has seen an impressive 108 percent increase in students enrolling in these courses. Last fall, 110 students at other campuses around the state had registered for courses offered through the University of Maine System Network for Education and Technology Services (UNET) offered by UMFK. This year, that number more than doubled to 229 students.
These courses consist of both offerings over the University of Maine System Interactive Television (ITV) Network, as well as courses offered on-line over the Internet.
In the fall of 2004, UMFK faculty delivered 15 distance education courses. This semester the number has increased to 20 UNET courses originating from Fort Kent.
The positive enrollment numbers at UMFK come on the heels of the institution learning it was named a "Best College in the Northeastern Region 2006" by The Princeton Review, a national organization dedicated to helping students, parents, and educators achieve the best outcomes at all stages of their educational careers.