Second largest class in history of MU yields cultural diversity

This freshman class raised numbers of students who are minorities.
Grant Nelson/ Staff Photographer MU welcomes the class of 2013 as freshmen rush through the pillars Sunday evening at Francis Quadrangle during Tiger Walk. The class of 2013 is the second largest incoming freshman class in MU history with more than 5,500 students.

MU experienced record high minority enrollment numbers as of the first day of classes Monday.

Despite a dip of about 200 students in overall freshmen enrollment, the number of black and Hispanic freshmen rose 14.7 and 16 percent, respectively, according to an MU News Bureau release.

"Increasing the diversity on our campus has been our goal for several years," Enrollment Management Vice Provost Ann Korschgen said in a news release. "With great work from many across campus, including our dedicated enrollment management team, we have seen those numbers rise steadily over the last several years."

Although the freshman class is 192 students less than last year's record high total, Korschgen said this year's freshmen enrollment is the second highest in the university's history and almost 600 more than two years ago.

Thousands of incoming freshmen participated in Tiger Walk on Sunday evening, rushing through the columns toward Jesse Hall to signify their entrance into the university.

Members of the class of 2013 credited the quality of the campus, academics and athletics with drawing freshmen to MU this year.

"I feel like the campus is nice and compact," freshman Kyle Matthias said. "Not only does the campus look good, but things aren't terribly spread out like they are at some universities."

Freshman Bryce Mihalevich said the number of student groups and MU's options for student involvement interested him.

"The university has more stuff to get involved in on campus than any other school in state," Mihalevich said. "I feel like there are an unlimited amount of options for getting involved and finding activities for students."

Transfer students also participated in Tiger Walk, including sophomore Katie Gates, who said she enrolled at MU because many of the university's programs were on a bigger scale than her previous school's programs.

"I transferred from a smaller school, hoping for more opportunities and I think Mizzou can provide those," sophomore Katie Gates said. "I wanted a bigger school with a bigger sports program."

MU's history, even within Missouri families, was another contributing factor for some students.

"Both my parents went here, so I very much grew up with Mizzou in my family," freshman Lucinda Winter said.

According to the news release, this year's freshman class average ACT score was 25.6, the highest in eight years. The average ACT score in Missouri is 21.6, and 21.1 nationally.

"Not only is our enrollment increasing, but the quality and diversity of our students is increasing as well," Korschgen said in a news release. "This demonstrates to us that Mizzou continues to be the top choice for scholars throughout the state."

Both the number of undergraduates, 23,659, and total students, 30,831, are also record highs for the university.

"The focus across campus has been on ensuring student success, which is reflected in the record retention rate of 85.4 percent of our 5,800 freshmen who enrolled last year," Korschgen said in a news release.

The news release stated the official enrollment figures would be available after the 20th day of classes.

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