Today marked the start of a fresh school year for thousands of MU students, but this first day of classes has been unlike any other in terms of record-breaking enrollment numbers.
The number of first-time freshmen rose 15.6 percent this year, with a record high of 5,812 students, according to a news release issued by the university. Overall student enrollment reached 29,761, a 6-percent increase from last year and the seventh year in a row that the university has broken this record.
MU Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Ann Korschgen said the increase in freshman enrollment was largely responsible for this year’s increase in total student enrollment. She mentioned that several factors contributed to the enrollment of 785 more freshmen this year than in 2007.
“High freshman enrollment numbers are the result of enhanced recruiting efforts by the university, including visits to more high schools, more mailings of university literature and increased out-of-state recruiting,” Korschgen said. “I think the increase is also a reflection of our great new facilities, the campus landscape, the success of our football team and the reputation of our academic programs and faculty.”
Also included in the university’s first-day enrollment figures:
- Graduate student enrollment increased by 7.1 percent, bringing the number of graduate students to a record-breaking 5,811.
- Freshman African-American enrollment increased by 27.5 percent, placing it at the highest level in MU history.
- Freshman Hispanic enrollment rose 29.7 percent, another record-breaking number.
- The university’s retention rate, or the percentage of freshmen that return to MU their sophomore year, increased by 0.5 percent. This year’s 85.2 percent is the highest the rate has ever been.
- The number of students receiving Curators Scholars Awards increased by 8.8 percent, making this year’s 481 students the highest in eight years.
- The freshman class’ mean ACT score of 25.5 remained unchanged from last year.
According to Korschgen, these first-day enrollment numbers are not official figures, but those will be available after the 20th day of classes.