COLUMBIA — For the past nine years, MU has been the fastest-growing university for undergraduates among all institutions belonging to the Association of American Universities, as well as members of the Big 12.
Undergraduate enrollment has increased by 32 percent since 2002, and total enrollment has jumped 29 percent, according to Ann Korschgen, vice provost of enrollment management.
From 2002 to 2011, the number of undergraduates at MU grew from 19,698 to 26,024. Total enrollment increased during the same period from 26,124 to 33,805.
Korschgen attributed some of this growth to aggressive recruiting out of state, mainly in Texas and Illinois.
"Recruiting in Dallas and Chicago made a world of difference," she said.
Much of this effort was undertaken to counter a drop in Missouri high school graduates that is expected to last until 2014, she said.
Korschgen estimated that 9,000 fewer Missouri students would graduate during that period.
Because of the anticipated decline of in-state enrollment, she said she does not see MU capping enrollment in the future.
Nevertheless, the decade of growth has been encouraging to MU administrators.
"This growth means we will have more alumni and more graduates around the world," Korschgen said.
Her staff put together comparative data from AAU and Big 12 schools but only had figures from these schools through 2010.
Still, from 2002 through 2010, MU showed marked undergraduate enrollment growth in comparison to other Big 12 schools.
From 2002 to 2010, MU undergraduate enrollment was more than twice that of Big 12 schools Texas Tech and Texas A & M universities, which had the next highest growth figures.
Among the 61 AAU schools, all large research institutions, MU showed 26 percent growth between 2002 and 2010, followed by the University of California-San Diego with 24 percent growth and the University of Oregon with more than 20 percent.
"One of the most important outcomes of growth is that we have a campus that is more enriching for the learning environment," Korschgen said.