MU first-day enrollment breaks several records

Monday, August 25, 2008 | 7:47 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA - The first day of classes at MU on Monday broke a variety of enrollment records, including records for freshman enrollment and total enrollment.

The number of first-time freshmen rose 15.6 percent this year, with a record number of 5,812 students, according to a news release from the university. Overall student enrollment reached 29,761, a 6 percent increase from last year. It is the seventh year in a row that the university has broken this record.

Enrollment numbers

                                                    Fall 2007    Fall 2008    Difference
First-Time Freshmen             5,027            5,812*         +15.6%
Graduate students                  5,424            5,811*          +7.1%
Curator Scholars                     444               481               +8.3%
Mean ACT (freshman class)  25.5             25.5             No Change
Retention Rate                        84.7%          85.2%*        +0.5%
Total Enrollment                    28,070        29,761*         +6%
*Indicates record figure.

MU Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Ann Korschgen said that the increase in freshman enrollment was largely responsible for this year's increase in total student enrollment. She said several factors contributed to the enrollment of 785 more freshmen this year than in 2007.

"High freshman enrollment numbers are partly 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."

The university also reported that the school's retention rate, or the percentage of freshmen that return to MU for their sophomore year, increased slightly from 84.7 percent in 2007 to 85.2 percent this year. Korschgen said the retention rate is the highest it has ever been.

Graduate student enrollment also increased by 7.1 percent, bringing this year's number of graduate students to 5,811.

Freshman black enrollment also increased by 27.5 percent, to the highest level in MU history. Hispanic enrollment broke another record by rising 29.7 percent.

The number of students receiving Curators Scholars Awards is the highest in eight years as well, growing by 8.8 percent. The 481 MU students who received the award this year are Missouri residents who graduated in the top 5 percent of their high school classes and who earned a composite ACT score of 28 or higher.

The freshman class' mean ACT score of 25.5 remained unchanged from last year. This average is still higher than the state mean of 21.6 and the national average of 21.1.

Korschgen said these first-day enrollment numbers are not official figures, but those will be available after the 20th day of classes.


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