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Aug. 28, 2014 Volume 36, No. 1

Record-breaking number of students on opening day

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Students take part in Tiger Walk on the Francis Quadrangle Aug. 24. Preliminary enrollment records show a significant increase in high-achieving students in MU's freshman class. Photo by Rob Hill.

Scholarships credited with attracting high-ability students

MU welcomed a record-breaking 34,935 students on the first day of classes Aug. 25. The number of first-time college students is the second largest in the school’s history at 6,546, up from last year’s 6,227 and just behind 2012’s first-time college enrollment of 6,560. The fall 2014 student body set records in total, undergraduate, minority, international and online enrollment, as well as high-ability students and retention rate.

Preliminary enrollment records show a significant increase in high-achieving students in the entering class. There was a 25 percent increase in students who scored a 30 or higher on the ACT, which increased the average ACT score for incoming students to 25.9 compared to 25.7 in 2013.

Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management, attributed the increase in high-ability students to the new scholarship initiatives that were announced in September 2013.

First-time college students enrolling in the fall 2014 semester could apply for the new Chancellor’s Award worth $6,500; the expanded Curators Award worth $4,500 (previous value was $3,500); and the expanded Mark Twain Nonresident Scholarship ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 (previous range was $2,000 to $5,500). There are 560 Bright Flight recipients, 288 Curators Scholars and 379 Chancellor’s Scholars in the freshman class.

Applications from out-of-state students continue to grow, increasing by 370 from last year and by 1,454 from two years ago, with increased activity in Texas and Illinois. Nearly 40 percent of the first-time college student class is nonresidents.

Applications from Missouri residents declined again this year, which Korschgen said is due in part to the decrease in high school graduates in the state. Even so, new student enrollment from Missouri residents increased by 4.1 percent.

Minority enrollment is up 5.3 percent to 5,386, and total international enrollment is up 10.1 percent to 2,323 compared to opening day 2013.

Some disciplines will see more students in the classroom this fall. First-time college student enrollment is up in business, engineering, journalism and health professions. Mizzou Online also saw record enrollment figures for fall 2014. Students enrolled in 23,734 credit hours of 100-percent online course work, a 20 percent increase from fall 2013. There are 2,245 distance students working toward their degrees at MU. 

Final enrollment figures for fall 2014 will be released after census day, Sept. 22.

 — Kelsey Allen