MU welcomes 2nd largest class, sets new enrollment records

Total enrollment and minority representation are up.
Freshmen run through the Columns on Francis Quadrangle on Aug. 24. Tiger Walk is an annual tradition at MU during which new students pass through the Columns toward Jesse Hall, symbolizing their entrance to the university.

The class of 2018 is the 2nd largest in MU history, with 6,546 for the fall semester, only surpassed by the class of 2016 by 14 students.

MU’s total campus population increased 2.4 percent, from 34,111 in 2013 to 34,935 in 2014.

According to Vice Provost of Enrollment Management Anne Korschgen, a new high retention rate of 86 percent has helped MU increase its total population.

Korschgen said the class of 2018 is the smartest and most diverse class to enter MU and increased the average ACT score — from 25.7 in 2013 to 25.9 in 2014 — and overall minority representation at MU — from 5,116 in 2013 to 5,386 in 2014.

The total number of credit hours enrolled increased by 20 percent, from 19,773 hours in 2013 to 23,734 hours in 2014.

“We like the fact that we’re setting records in many areas,” Korschgen said. “We are hoping to continue to grow and grow smartly.”

Director of International Admissions John Wilkerson said international enrollment at MU saw an increase of 10.1 percent from 2,109 international students in 2013 to 2,323 in 2014.

Wilkerson said he feels that strong lines of collaboration between international campuses help build robust international programs, especially in countries with a growing middle class and technological advantages.

Wilkerson said developments in their origin countries cause a wider variety of academic interest areas.

“With a growing middle class, you start to see more global mobility among students and scholars from those countries,” he said. “Robust growing economies such as Southeast Asia and Latin America typically result in development of physical infrastructure. In turn, MU sees more engineering students from those areas.”

Director of Financial Aid Nick Prewitt said increases in scholarship opportunities and financial aid helped more students to attend the university by diminishing some of the financial burden of attending MU.

“The biggest changes have to do with scholarship options such as the (Mark Twain Nonresident Scholarship) and the (Chancellor’s Awards),” Prewitt said.

According to the Office of Financial Aid website, the Mark Twain scholarship grants $7,000 to students who scored 27-29 on the ACT and $10,000 for 30-36 score range — an increase from $4,000 and 5,500 awards in 2011.

The Chancellor’s Award provides an additional $6,500 to students who scored 31 or higher on the ACT.

Korschgen said administrators and faculty are encouraged to continue MU’s trend of continuous growth.

“We’re delighted about the enrollment and look forward to a great year at MU,” she said.

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