McMullen Hall on the MSUB campus
CASEY PAGE, Billings Gazette
Full-time equivalent student enrollment continues to drop at Montana State University Billings as the campus signs up more part-time high schoolers.
The growth in programs like dual enrollment, where students take college-endorsed courses at their high schools taught by high school teachers, has been a boon for MSUB’s headcount figures, which count the number of people taking a class.
Spring 2018 to spring 2019 headcount increased by 26 students, up to 4,314. All of that and then some came at City College, where headcount increased from 1,722 to 1,848. Headcount at the University campus dropped from 2,566 to 2,466.
Dual enrollment increased from 829 to 928 students, reflecting much of the City College increase.
MUSB officials have trumpeted headcount increases as enrollment growth. But full-time equivalent enrollment, which factors in how many credits students are taking, is what pays the bills in the Montana University System funding formula.
FTE enrollment dropped from 2,855 last spring to 2,827. Fall figures showed a similar split between headcount increases and FTE decreases.