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Aug. 25, 2011 Volume 33, No. 1

MU adds an estimated 1,300 students, setting another record

2011 Move In

MOVING IN Trent Saulsberry, left, and Fiona Island help freshman Ie’shia McDonald move in to Respect Hall on August 17, 2011, the official opening day for Mizzou residence Halls. MU officials estimate that 33,318 students arrived for classes this week, a 4.1 percent increase over last year and a new record. Rachel Coward photo


Officials project 13.1 percent growth in minority students

The University of Missouri kicked off the 2011-12 school year by welcoming more than 33,300 students to campus for the first day of classes.

The estimated total student enrollment of 33,318 students is a 4.1 percent increase over last year, and a new record. Official enrollment figures will be available after the 20th day of classes, Sept. 16.

This year’s enrollment includes significant increases in minority students and freshmen. Total minority students on campus increased from 3,951 students in 2010 to 4,480 students, up 529 students or 13.4 percent. The number of African-American students rose from 2,026 in 2010 to 2,231, up 10.1 percent, and the number of Hispanic students rose from 782 in 2010 to 882, up 12.8 percent.

Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management, said university officials anticipated fewer Missouri high school graduates attending MU this fall than in years past. With some 2,000 fewer high school students graduating in 2011, first-time MU students from Missouri declined by 166. However, that was more than offset by an increase of 174 first-time students from out of state.

 “We’re very pleased that as we continue to offer opportunities to Missouri students, we also are attractive to many out-of-state students in many different programs,” Korschgen said.

The quality of this year’s freshman class, as measured by ACT scores, is among the highest ever. The mean ACT score of 25.7 for MU’s first-year college students is slightly higher than last year’s mean of 25.6. That remains significantly higher than the state and national average ACT scores, which held steady at 21.6 and 21.1, respectively.

“It’s wonderful to see that as our enrollment continues to grow, so does the quality of our students,” Korschgen said.

MU also welcomed back more returning sophomores this year. The university’s retention rate increased from 84.5 percent in 2010 to 85.1 percent, indicating that more students are returning to MU to continue their studies. The 2011 retention rate is one of the highest in MU’s history.

After two years in which tuition remained steady, MU students are paying more per credit hour this year. A 5.8 percent increase in tuition and fees was approved earlier this year by the UM Board of Curators.

However, the university has tapped its budget to make more financial aid available: $112 million in endowed scholarships and grants, graduate tuition and fee waivers and merit- and need-based scholarships.