Regents report says U not hurt by semesters

Bryan Keogh

Rochester, Minn. — Although some University officials feared semester conversion would translate to lower student enrollment and credit loads, preliminary numbers released Thursday at the Board of Regents meeting in Rochester should ease those worries.
Nearly 500 more students are enrolled at the Twin Cities campus this year, part of the total 684-student increase systemwide, according to the report. Credit loads, however, fell from 13.4 to 12.9 for undergraduates and 8.3 to 7.9 for graduate students at the Twin Cities campus.
“Two things usually happen when you change to semesters; there is a drop in enrollment, and there is a drop in average credit loads,” said Vice Provost Craig Swan.
Peter Zetterberg, the director of Institutional Research and Reporting, presented the enrollment report. “I actually feared the numbers for graduate students would be much worse,” Zetterberg said.
To encourage students to take more credits fall semester, officials changed the tuition scheme. Every credit a student takes beyond 12 credits is half price.
“I’ll take my 15 credits per semester and that’s it,” said Ike Whiting, a junior in psychology. “It’s not an incentive for me, but it is nice to have that discount in the back of your mind.”
But Whiting is concerned that finals will finish two days before Christmas.
Other students have adjusted to the semester conversion and are pleased with the change.
“I like the longer classes,” said Seth Langkeek, a junior in speech communication who is taking 17 credits this semester. “The material isn’t so condensed anymore. Professors can spread the information out a little.”
Zetterberg said projected tuition estimates appear to be consistent with enrollment and course-credit levels.
“At this point, I don’t think we’ll have a tuition problem that we didn’t anticipate,” Zetterberg said.
He added that the report’s numbers are preliminary; complete student demographics will be issued in November.
The student enrollment figures for this report also include student information from University College. In previous years, students from that college have not been included.
Now that the University has a single registration system, more than 1,000 students who take all of their course work through University College now count toward the enrollment increase.

— Staff Reporter Mike Wereschagin contributed to this report.

Bryan Keogh welcomes comments at [email protected] He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3232.