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MSU enrollment slips after five years of increases

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Missouri State University has finalized the tally of its system enrollment, revealing a decrease in students for the first time in five years.

Enrollment for the fall semester is 22,866, down about 1 percent from 23,092 in the same semester of 2010. The total comprises 20,802 students on the Springfield campus and 2,141 on the West Plains campus, according to a news release.

“Our goal is to have modest growth in enrollment, not only because we believe individuals benefit from a college education, but also because it affects our budget,” MSU Interim President Clif Smart said in the release. “Renewing our commitment to increasing enrollment and refreshing our approach to recruiting and retention will be one of our top two priorities this year."

While enrollment is down by 147 students on the Springfield campus and by 87 students on the West Plains campus, the enrollment tally also revealed:
  • a 28 percent increase in the number of students taking the majority of their classes online;
  • a 12 percent increase in degree-seeking graduate students;
  • a 4 percent increase in the number of enrolled students representing race/ethnic diversity; and
  • a 3 percent increase in the number of international students, not including the university's China campus.
MSU, the second-largest public university in the state, has students from 83 countries, 114 Missouri counties, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.

Other Springfield schools, Ozarks Technical Community College, Evangel University and Cox College, have recorded record enrollments this semester, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

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