Bay releases enrollment for semester

ESCANABA — Enrollment numbers at Bay College for the winter 2018 semester look to be strong, Bay College President Laura Coleman said. The semester began earlier this month.

During the winter 2017 semester, 1,679 students were enrolled at Bay College. This semester, 1,700 students are enrolled there — an increase of 21 students, or 1.25 percent.

“We’re very happy with that,” Coleman said. While enrollment numbers for the winter 2018 semester are down slightly from the fall 2017 semester, this has been the case for every school year at Bay.

Bay’s contact hours are down slightly for the winter 2018 semester compared to the college’s last winter semester. During the winter 2017 semester, Bay’s students were enrolled for a total of 17,759 contact hours; students are enrolled for a total of 17,432 contact hours in the current semester, which marks a decrease of 1.84 percent.

This statistic is particularly important because Bay’s tuition and fees are charged by contact hours, but Coleman noted she does not expect the decrease to have a major impact on the college.

“We were up 2 percent in the fall, so it averages out that we’re right on for our yearly budget,” she said.

Bay’s student retainment rate from fall to winter has also shown a slight decline in the current semester. About 82.83 percent of students enrolled in Bay’s winter 2017 semester returned to Bay from the fall 2016 semester. However, 81.07 percent of the students enrolled in Bay’s winter 2018 semester returned to the college from the fall 2017 semester. As was the case for Bay’s contact hours Coleman said she does not believe this will have much of an effect on the college.

These numbers represent combined enrollment at Bay’s Escanaba and Iron Mountain campuses. Coleman said contact hours have increased significantly at the latter campus compared to the Winter 2017 semester.

“The West Campus is up 8 percent (in contact hours) … that’s very, very exciting,” she said. She also noted this campus’ student head count is up by about 12 percent.