MU’s first-day enrollment of first-time African-American students was 331, the second highest number in more than a decade. Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management, said that although the 2006 enrollment was slightly higher, at 355, both last year and this year taken together represent “significant” numbers. This year’s official number will be available in mid-September; Korschgen said it probably won’t differ much from the opening-day count that was released Aug. 20.
In addition to MU’s commitment to diversifying the campus, Korschgen credits diversity recruiting efforts, including an admissions representative who targets under-represented groups, and hosting visits specifically for educators and students in St. Louis and Kansas City schools.
Scholarships are also important, Korschgen said, but MU offered the same scholarships to minority groups in the late 1990s, when minority enrollment was declining, as during this decade, when numbers have been increasing. MU introduced the scholarships in 1994, and that year, 334 African-American students enrolled in college for the first time. That number declined steadily until spiking again in 2002, when the university began its outreach programs to St. Louis, and has risen ever since.