The numbers are in for spring enrollment at the University of Montana, and they are down 4.7 percent from a year ago, with a total of 12,922 students.

Vice President of Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr said officials were expecting a decline, and had planned for the contingency.

"We were expecting a decline and it was about 4.7 percent from the year before," Kuhr said. "That number fits out overall projections, so the good news is it's what we expected and our current budget will be met for the  fiscal year we're already in."

Kuhy said enrollment is a long-term process.

"Because we've had several years of smaller incoming enrollment, those smaller classes have to move through the four years of education they have here," she said. "What we look at are the numbers of first time incoming freshmen. because that's how you wind up turning those numbers around on a long-term basis."

Overall retention of freshmen on the mountain campus was 91 percent for spring semester compared with 90.2 percent a year ago.

At Missoula College, spring headcount was 1,859, a 10.9 percent decline compared to a year ago. University officials believe the robust Montana and national economies have affected MC enrollment, along with the fact that several programs are currently at capacity.

Kuhr said the emphasis will continue to be on recruitment of incoming freshmen, so that the enrollment numbers will begin to turn around in the years to come.