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Oct. 20, 2011 Volume 33, No. 9

MU undergraduate enrollment fastest growing in AAU


Official MU enrollment numbers at 33,805

Over the last nine years, the University of Missouri has experienced a 32 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment, making MU the fastest-growing university for undergraduates in the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Big 12.

Official total enrollment for fall semester at the university is 33,805, MU administrators announced this week.

“Several things contribute to the success we have had in attracting students to study at Mizzou,” said Ann Korschgen, vice provost of enrollment management. “We have a dedicated faculty constantly working to improve the quality of our academic programs, a beautiful campus with many new or renovated facilities, and an outstanding recruitment team.”

Since 2002, Mizzou’s undergraduate enrollment has grown from 19,698 in 2002 to 26,024 in 2011.

Total enrollment has grown 29 percent in the same time, from 26,124 in 2002 to 33,805 in 2011. The academic ability of freshmen, which is measured by ACT scores, has increased along with diversity and retention rates. With the number of Missouri high school graduates falling, Korschgen’s recruiting team has placed an emphasis on contacting prospective students from outside the state.

“Previous studies have indicated that 30 percent to 40 percent of our out-of-state students remain in the state after graduation, contributing to our state’s economy,” Korschgen said. “By having more students from out-of-state on campus, we are importing intellectual talent as well as bringing additional revenue to the campus, the city and the state, both now and in the future.”

Korschgen notes that even with rising out-of-state student numbers, Mizzou does not cap enrollment, so students do not compete with each other for admission to the university.

Out-of-state students contributed nearly $20 million more to the university’s revenue in 2011 than they did in 2002. This is important since the number of high school graduates in Missouri is predicted to drop by 9,000 students by 2014.

“Our in-state recruiting efforts continue as always, but we have added a lot of out-of-state activities,” said Chuck May, associate director of admissions. “We are mailing to more students in more places, calling and contacting more students directly, and attending more out-of-state college fairs and high schools. Our alumni are becoming a greater recruitment tool at out-of-state college fairs as well. For example, this fall, members from our Houston, Texas, alumni chapter have represented Mizzou at eight college fairs and are looking to attend six more in the next month.”

While tuition has increased, MU also is experiencing an increase in low-income students. More than 1,800 students in the 2011 freshman class were eligible for Pell grants this year, which is up 61 percent from previous years.

Mizzou officials continue to work to provide low-income students with scholarship opportunities. When tuition was raised for the 2011-12 academic year, 20 percent of the additional revenue went directly to needs-based scholarships.