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Missouri State University students participate in opening weekend activities last month.
Photo provided by Missouri State University
Missouri State University students participate in opening weekend activities last month.

MSU sets 7th straight enrollment record

Posted online

The final tally is in: Missouri State University set another fall enrollment record for its Springfield campus.

MSU marked its seventh straight record with fall enrollment of 24,390, an increase of roughly 40 students compared with a year earlier. The school’s enrollment has risen in 20 of the past 22 years, according to a news release.

The enrollment tally lines up with Missouri’s official census date on the 20th day of classes. MSU originally reported 21,309 students to start the semester at the Springfield campus.

“Missouri State University offers an affordable, quality education, and we’re pleased that our academic reputation is growing outside of Missouri,” MSU President Clif Smart said in the release.

Across the MSU system, which includes campuses in West Plains and Mountain Grove, fall enrollment came to 26,182 students, the second-highest total to date. The total fall figure is down by 34 students from last year’s record systemwide enrollment.

MSU’s enrollment tally comprises students from all Missouri counties, every state and 78 countries, according to the release.

At Ozarks Technical Community College’s five-campus system, fall enrollment came to 12,222, a 3 percent decrease from a year earlier, said spokesman Mark Miller.

“OTC continues to see a decline in enrollment of nontraditional students,” he said via email. “This correlates with full employment. As adults encounter a job market with more openings than there are people to fill those jobs, they are not seeking higher education because jobs are plentiful.”

Drury University spokesman Mike Brothers said undergraduate day school enrollment is 1,491, up from an opening date estimate of 1,476.

“That actually pushes us up one more percentage point over the last three years – up 13 percent since 2015,” he said via email.

Cheryl Tilley, Vatterott College’s Springfield campus director, said enrollment is still 117, a number she previously reported to Springfield Business Journal. That’s up from 110 a year earlier.

Officials with other local higher education institutions did not provide enrollment figures by deadline.

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