University Relations and Communications

MSU Billings sets another enrollment record

September 29, 2010


Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


5,335 students enrolled this fall is a nearly 6-percent increase over last-year’s record


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — For the second consecutive year, Montana State University has set enrollment records with headcount numbers up by nearly 300 students from last year.


students walking together on the MSUB main campus Fall 2010

According to official 15th-day data reported Wednesday to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, MSU Billings’ enrollment is 5,335 students, an increase of 294 students (or 5.8 percent) from last year’s record-setting count of 5,041. Of that enrollment, 3,804 are enrolled in classes at the main campus and 1,531 are enrolled at the West End College of Technology. The COT enrollment also sets a record.


Last year was the first time enrollment at MSU Billings eclipsed 5,000 students.


“I believe we can contribute our continued enrollment success to the fact that MSU Billings is seen as offering a high-quality education at a more affordable rate than other institutions,” said Dr. Stacy Klippenstein, vice chancellor for student affairs at MSU Billings.


Klippenstein said the university continues to demonstrate excellence at many levels — from providing 160 academic offerings, to fulfilling its public service mission and to providing students a high level of service to meet their expectations. In the past year, Klippenstein noted, academic excellence was affirmed through visits by representatives by the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


“We have wonderful faculty and a tremendous staff who work hard to develop a strong and student-centered learning environment,” he said.


The current data show steady year-to-year increases in many categories. Here are some examples:


  • The number of American Indian students continues to grow at the university, with 305 students at both the main campus and at the West End COT. That amounts to a 9.8 percent increase on the main campus and a 5.7 percent at the COT. American Indians now make up about 6 percent of the overall student enrollment
  • The number of Hispanic students at MSU Billings continues to grow as well, with 208 students this fall. That is an increase of 3.6 percent at the main campus and 13.8 percent at the COT.
  • More people are continuing their education. The number of graduate students is at 546 this year, which is a 10.5 percent increase from a year ago and a 12.1 percent increase over the past five years.
  • More students are finding a home at the MSU Billings residence halls. According to the figures, when the semester started, 617 students are on-campus residents this year, a 17.5 percent increase over the past year and a surge of 26.2 percent over the past years.

“The increase in our graduate numbers is recognition that we have quality academic programs that will help people advance in their profession and the continued growth at the COT is a testament to the work that team has done address the workforce development needs of our community,” Klippenstein said. “Overall, we are very pleased with our numbers and will continue to provide the same quality education and service so more Montana residents will have the chance to experience true access and excellence.”


Other enrollment information shows:


  • Of the total number of students, 57.1 percent are under the age of 24. The largest percentage of students (38 percent) is between the ages of 18 and 21.
  • The average age of the students at the main campus is 24.8 and at the COT is 26.2.
  • The majority of MSU Billings come from the surrounding counties. Most (56.7 percent) are from Yellowstone County and another 32.9 percent are from other Montana counties.
  • Most of the students are studying on a full-time basis. Of the total headcount enrollment, 69.4 percent are full-time students.
  • The majority of students continue to be women (62.1 percent), but the number of men attending the main campus increased 6.1 percent from a year ago.


Started in 1927 as a normal school, MSU Billings has become a comprehensive regional urban university with more than 160 academic programs in areas of Arts and Sciences, Allied Health Professions, Business, Education, Technology as well as professional development and workforce training through the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning. In addition, students can choose from more than 200 classes offered in 21 online programs.


To find out more about MSU Billings academic offerings, go to or call the Office of New Student Services at 657-2888.


PHOTO ABOVE: Students make their way to classes on the main campus of Montana State University Billings this week. The university set another enrollment record this fall with 5,335 students.