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More than 20,000 students are enrolled at MSU.
Photo provided by Missouri State University
More than 20,000 students are enrolled at MSU.

MSU’s enrollment drops

Posted online

With the start of the fall semester yesterday, Missouri State University reported a 4.6% preliminary enrollment decrease.

The enrollment count was 20,330 students, compared with the opening day enrollment a year ago of 21,309, according to a news release.

“This isn’t a surprise to us,” MSU President Clif Smart said in the release. “We’ve been aware of the projected decline and have planned proactively. We continue to stay focused on long-term enrollment growth and on programs that increase access to high-demand fields.”

For the drop, officials cited:
• an increase in the amount of students graduating earlier because of a dip in the number of credit hours required to 120 from 125;
• a smaller number of returning students after the university graduated its largest class to date — 2,941 students — in May;
• a decrease in the amount of high school graduates this year;
• fewer adult students who are at least age 25; and
• a decline in the transfer pool brought on by a nearly 19% decrease in students attending Missouri community colleges.

However, MSU reported a record 3,746 graduate students, which is 3% above last fall’s figure. Over the last eight years, total enrollment at MSU has grown by more than 11%, according to the release.

MSU is scheduled to report its official enrollment numbers on Sept. 17.

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