The U-M enrolled 50,278 undergrad, grad, and professional students this fall–an all-time record.

It didn’t just happen. “We offered more than 1,000 online events and created new programs,” emails Rick Fitzgerald, the ‘U-M’s associate VP for public affairs. “We held dedicated recruiting and admission events across our state.” It also helped that “admitted students chose to come to U-M at higher rates than in the past.”

Minority enrollment reported big increases: 37 percent of the first-year students identified as students of color, including 8.4 percent as Latinx and 5.1 percent as black. And for the first time ever, more students are from out of state than from Michigan.

Out-of-state students are a financial godsend, because they pay more than three times as much as Michigan residents. In the past, though, legislators objected to increasing their numbers, for fear they would crowd out the in-state students.

With overall enrollment rising and more financial aid for Michigan students, that no longer seems to be an issue. Fitzgerald reports that 70 percent of Michigan undergrads now get some financial assistance.

Most prominently, the Go Blue Guarantee provides free tuition for high-achieving, in-state, full-time undergrads with family incomes below $65,000 and no more than $50,000 in assets. Another program, Wolverine Pathways, helps students in Detroit, Southfield, and Ypsilanti prepare for admission, and covers the tuition of successful grads. This year, the two programs will cover the full tuition of more than 3,000 undergrads on the Ann Arbor campus.