Of the 25,000 students who attend Western Michigan University, one of five research institutions in Michigan, Detroit accounts for 30 percent of that enrollment.
University President Dr. John Dunn and trustee Dennis Archer, former mayor of Detroit, said in an interview with the Michigan Chronicle on March 31 that WMU wants to increase its outreach to Detroit.
That numbers show how students from the city are variedly represented across the state’s higher insitutions and counters the notion that Detroit can easily be written off despite being the largest city in Michigan.
Dunn said the Detroit enrollment numbers for his campus show how students from the city are adding to a diverse campus where students from 90 nations are represented.
With the current economy, WMU is still trying to help financially disadvantaged students meet their academic goals. Dunn said that even though financial assistance from the state has declined from what was once — $5.9 million to a little over $700,000 toda — his institution is still committed to helping those underprivilege students get their education from WMU.
“We’ve created a program for any child that ages out of foster care, meets the requirement for admission to get full scholarship and room and board at our university,” Dunn said.
He said the foster care educational program is helping to address a need in the community. Many youth from the foster care system across the state now see WMU as their home for higher learning.