MU has never been a more popular place.
Preliminary figures released Monday show that MU has hit record high in total enrollment, freshman enrollment and undergraduate enrollment. But the school’s increasing popularity is resulting in some larger class sizes and forcing more than 100 studentsto live in a Stephens College residence hall.
Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management, said total enrollment stood at 26,783 — a 2.7 percent increase from last year’s total of 26,073.
This year’s freshmen class of 4,694 is 5.1 percent larger than the fall 2002 class. Total undergraduate enrollment increased 3.9 percent to 20,529 from 19,756.
Korschgen noted that the enrollment figures are not official and that a final count will be released within the next month. She attributed the gains to the wide array of services MU offers its students as well as a strong admissions team and quality faculty.
While university officials are excited by the larger numbers, some students are inconvenienced by the enrollment increases.
Ted Tarkow, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science, said some classes with 15 to 25 students will increase by one or two students.
The increase in student population has also pushed 130 MU students to Stephens College’s Hillcrest Hall at Broadway and Williams streets. Thirty students are also temporarily housed with student staff members.
Frankie Minor, director of Residential Life for MU, said new residence halls are currently being built to alleviate the space crunch.
The Virginia Avenue housing and dining facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2004. The complex will have four residence halls with 721 beds.
The opening of the new housing complex, however, will not fully solve MU’s housing problems. Smith, Blair and Donnelley halls are scheduled for demolition next fall, leaving a net gain of only 225 beds, Minor said.
Even though classrooms and residence halls are crowded, Chancellor Richard Wallace was upbeat during the afternoon news conference in Jesse Hall.
“It is a day to celebrate,” Wallace said. “We’re very, very proud.”