MU sees application increase for fall 2009

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 | 5:58 p.m. CST; updated 6:38 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 4, 2008

COLUMBIA — MU is currently the only Big 12 school seeing an increase in applications for fall 2009, according to a report sent to university administrators Monday.

The first of 10 monthly enrollment updates shows that the number of freshman applicants to MU for fall 2009 has increased almost 49 percent over this time last year. The actual number of freshmen admitted has increased by nearly as much.

Fall 2009 applications by the numbers

Freshman applications — 48.8 percent increase over last year and a 76.2 percent increase over fall 2007

Number of freshmen admitted —44.9 percent increase over last year and a 133.9 percent increase over fall 2007

African American applications — 146.2 percent increase over last year and a 298.3 percent increase over fall 2007

Hispanic applications — 116.2 percent increase over last year

Non-resident applications — 74.8 percent increase over last year, including an 89.8 percent increase in applications from Illinois and a 63.2 percent increase in applications from Texas

Missouri resident applications — 35 percent increase over last year

Transfer applications — 53.8 percent increase over last year and 109.3 percent increase over fall 2007

The report was sent to MU administrators and faculty by e-mail from Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management, and Barbara Rupp, director of admissions.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said it's also too early to know what specific factors have contributed to the increase in applications, though the report offers at least one hint.

"We know that at least a portion of these applications are 'front-loaded,' meaning that students applied earlier than usual based upon concerns about our closing admission last year and our limited space in residence halls," the report states.

MU closed enrollment for the current semester in mid-June, and a record-sized freshman class filled MU residence halls to capacity and prompted Residential Life to house some freshmen off campus, according to previous Missourian reports.

The question of whether the success of MU's football team has played a role in applicant increase remains unanswered. Basi said there is no direct evidence linking the two, but he said the Tigers' success does help increase MU exposure nationally. In January, the Missourian reported that publicity related to the football team's success had contributed to the rise in enrollment for the current semester.

According to the report, all schools and colleges at MU show an increase in applications.

Basi said MU administrators will have a clearer idea of whether the early applications will translate into actual admissions by late December or early January because of a Dec. 1 deadline. Students wanting to be considered for financial aid must apply by Dec. 1, and "we'll have a better sense of where the numbers are about a month to six weeks after that deadline," Basi said.

The report shows that the number of applications from black and Hispanic students has doubled over last year, something Basi broadly credits to diversity recruiting efforts.

"We have increased our efforts in the recent past and we've also enhanced our current efforts as well," Basi said. "I think we're starting to see the results of that work."

The number of out-of-state applications has also increased, particularly from Illinois. Applications from Illinois residents jumped almost 90 percent from this time last year.

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