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.
Adrianna Norris became a first-time business owner with the opening of Finley River Chiropractic; PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub launched its newest location; and Huey Magoo’s opened its second store in the Ozarks.