TODAY'S QUESTION: Should MU cap enrollment?

Thursday, August 26, 2010 | 11:16 a.m. CDT

This year, the largest freshman class in MU history is prowling around campus with a whopping 6,160 students.

As the number of students continues to increase — in this year alone, there was a nearly 10 percent increase in the number of freshmen —  the university has had to make several attempts to accommodate the growing number of students.

In July, MU offered a $1,000 incentive to returning students if they would break their housing contract with residential life, so that their beds could be made available for incoming freshmen.

MU also had to find even more ways to house the new freshmen, including renting out vacant Prunty Hall, a Stephens College residence hall and opening a new residence hall called TRUE Scholars, which is located on University Avenue.

So far, the MU Office of the Provost says the university has been successful in accommodating the large incoming class.

Do you think MU should cap enrollment in upcoming years?


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William Moore August 26, 2010 | 12:21 p.m.

DO NOT CAP ENROLLMENT. Mizzou is finally where they should be in terms of enrollment vs. similar universities in surrounding states. Ahead of all Big 8 schools at 32000+. Frankly, MU should mimic Indiana in Bloomington, where there are now 42000 students. The students make for a growing local economy, increased alumni help reputation of the university, too. Standards don't have to suffer with growth, either, as the past 5 or so years demonstrate. Frankly, having a good FB team helps a lot! P.S. KU, meanwhile, pads their enrollment figures (still lower than Mizzou) by including the KU Med Center campus -- why doesn't anyone call them on it!?!?!?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 26, 2010 | 1:02 p.m.

The question implies that there will be a CHOICE. That may currently be true for MU, but another campus has already been FORCED to go to a cap.

I fail to understand why the way University of Kansas counts students is a concern of anyone in the University of Missouri System. Aren't there things we could better concern ourselves with?

(Report Comment)
Julie Ellebracht August 26, 2010 | 2:45 p.m.

I don't see any reason why the University should put a cap on enrollment, as long as they are able to satisfactorily accommodate an increase in student population. The problem is that they don't seem to be meeting those needs, hence the thousand dollar payouts to encourage returning students to live off campus. We also need to take into consideration that an increase in students will translate to many more issues - (even more) overfilled classrooms and (even less) parking, to name a few. Do you think the University is prepared to shell out money to hire more professors, build new classrooms and garages, and rent more parking lots from other vendors in the area? Especially when every department on campus is already getting memos on a regular basis encouraging them to cut down on expenses (bye-bye, free office coffee)?

If the University can make a commitment to use the increased revenue from a higher enrollment towards projects that will benefit the student body, then by all means, keep 'em coming. I just find it unlikely that the University will keep the facilities updates at the same pace that they'll increase student enrollment.

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