Enrollment expected to increase by more than 14 percent

So far, 4,547 students have paid their enrollment deposit for the fall 2018 semester

MU’s enrollment has increased by 14.4 percent, according to a report by the MU News Bureau. The report stated that 4,547 students had paid enrollment deposits as of May 2.

This is a 538 increase from the 4,009 students who had paid the deposit around this time last year. Students can continue to enroll during the summer, so numbers are subject to change between now and August.

The university focused on enrollment this past year, adding more personal outreach and events at high schools and college fairs, as well as specifically catering to out-of-state recruitment.

The office of Enrollment Management and Strategic Development formed the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee earlier this yearto focus solely on increasing enrollment at MU.

MU spokeswoman Liz McCune said the committee was first formed to provide a “comprehensive, holistic approach to strategic enrollment management.” The SEM committee made plans to promote academic programs to increase student recruitment to the university and student success within MU, McCune said.

The group’s main priority was to advance collective enrollment efforts at the university by using “institutional strategic efforts and policy initiatives,” according to its website.

MU also expects an increase in transfer students. MU officials recently formalized a partnership with Moberly Area Community College called MizzouMACC.

This initiative is for students from the community college to seamlessly adjust and transfer to the university. It was administered through MU’s Community College Pathways Program. As many as 30 MACC students will be admitted into MU for the 2018 academic year, according to an article by the news bureau.

Recently, the university has added new scholarships, such as the Missouri Land Grant Compact, which covers the tuition gap for any Pell-eligible Missouri student, and the Border State Scholars award for eligible out-of-state students coming from one of Missouri’s eight border states.

Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA founder and executive director, commented on MU’s change in enrollment. He tweeted on May 31 that the freshman class at MU would be “about 2,158 students smaller than previous incoming classes.” The statistic Kirk was referring to was in 2012 when the freshman class was 6,560.

Kirk’s tweet also said that MU has seen a 35 percent decrease in revenue. He did not state where he got this number from or what “revenue” means. The UM System approved to raise tuition by 1 percent in May in order to help with this past year’s budget cuts.

He also said that MU had a 70 percent decrease in “alumni support.” He provided no further information on how alumni support is measured, or where he got this statistic.

Kirk attributed these numbers to the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming that “radicals took over the school & admin did nothing to stop them.” Kirk was referring to the Fall 2015 protests, when students formed the Concerned Student 1950 group to draw attention to racism on campus.

MU experienced a drop in freshmen enrollment of 21.1 percent, or 1,605 students, between fall 2015 and fall 2016, according to the Fall 2016 Enrollment Summary Report.

Sophomore and Summer Welcome leader Galen Bacharier responded to the tweet.

“This is both purposefully misleading and wrong. Enrollment [is] up 17% from last year's freshman class,” he tweeted. “Can't wait to see every single one of you Mizzou '22 students this summer.”

Bacharier’s statistic was slightly off, but he was correct in that enrollment is up.

He said that he thinks Kirk used MU enrollment numbers out of context to further his own agenda. Kirk has expressed his disagreement with the Black Lives Matter movement before, through tweets and interviews. Responses to his tweet called the movement “disruptive activism.”

Bacharier said that Kirk’s tweet is misleading in that it insinuates that MU is seeing a steady decrease over time, when enrollment is actually increasing since 2015.

“What [Kirk] wanted people to take from it was the fact that Concerned Student 1950 and all of those movements are trying to frame those things in a negative light and saying this is what’s bringing down the university,” Bacharier said. “Obviously, as students here we realize that isn’t true. Certainly, it brought a lot of attention to the university, but I think we only grew from it and we’re already well on our way back.”

Edited by Caitlyn Rosen | crosen@themaneater.com

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