MU enrollment reaches historic high

Tuesday, August 24, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:17 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

MU announced the largest first-day enrollment in its history Monday with 27,088 students. That’s a 1.1 percent increase in the student body from last year. This includes a 2.7 percent increase in the number of new minority students on campus.

This growth — which officials must base on voluntary reporting by students — brings the total reported minority enrollment to 530.

“The increased enrollment reflects the quality experiences that students have,” Ann Korschgen, vice provost for enrollment management, said at a press conference Monday in Jesse Hall.

MU also saw a 2.3 percent increase in the number of transfer students. This year’s freshman class also increased slightly to 4,701 students, an increase of seven students.

Official enrollment numbers will be released in mid-September.

Korschgen attributed the increase in enrollment to a deliberate recruiting plan that included a larger recruiting staff and better literature about the university.

She said there has been an effort to establish more personal relationships with high school guidance counselors and school administrators.

After a 7.5 percent tuition increase was announced last spring, MU saw a 25 percent increase in cancellations among students admitted to MU, Korschgen said.

An increase in the number of students has not resulted in an increase in the number of faculty members.

Faculty workloads have grown with the number of students, but teacher-student ratios are still at a healthy number, Provost Brady Deaton said.

“Faculty have been wonderfully accommodating in terms of student growth,” Korschgen said.

The School of Journalism and the College of Business saw the greatest increases in enrollment, she said.

Columbia’s other two colleges also experienced growth this year. Columbia College expects about 960 day-campus students when classes start Monday, up from 920 last year.

The college’s evening campus, which caters more to adult learners, continues to grow — on average they serve about 3,200 students annually, spokeswoman Barb Payne said.

Stephens College is expecting its largest incoming class in eight years, said spokeswoman Sarah Berghorn. About 200 new students begin classes Wednesday. That puts the estimate for total enrollment between 480 and 500 undergraduate students.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City also saw record first-day enrollment this year with 11,737 students. The University of Missouri-Rolla’s first-day enrollment was 5,228. The University of Missouri-St. Louis did not release first-day enrollment figures.

— Missourian reporter Dan Nejfelt contributed to this report.

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