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Spring Enrollment At Missouri State University Reaches All-Time High

Outside Carrington Hall at Missouri State University. Credit- Shane Franklin

Missouri State University announced Thursday a record semester for enrollment. KSMU’s Shane Franklin has more on the school’s growing student population.

Following MSU’s 20thclass day, the official enrollment census date, officials say this spring’s numbers mark an all-time high in both enrollment on the Springfield campus and the Missouri State University system as a whole.

There are 19,919 students attending the Springfield campus this semester, up a total of 204 students over last spring.  Total enrollment in the MSU system is now 21,629, according to Don Simpson, associate vice president for Enrollment Management at Missouri State.

Simpson says these figures aren’t just good for the university, but good for the community.

“The opportunities for entertainment, recreation, employment, all of these things help us to draw students here, and when students get here we think that they make the community and the economy of the community even stronger," says Simpson.

The university is not just growing in size; it’s growing in diversity. Traditionally under-represented groups at Missouri State have increased 11.8 percent to a total of 2,105 and international student populations have increased to nearly 1,400 students. That a 12.4 percent increase over last spring. Simpson says that over the last couple years, Missouri State has made a focused effort to attract a more diverse student population.

“The University and the community are interested in increasing diversity and increasing appreciation of different cultures. One of the pillars of our public affairs mission is cultural competence, and certainly one way that students can experience that is to have increased opportunities to interact with students of other cultures,” says Simpson.

Evening and online classes have also seen an increase in popularity this spring.

Simpson says that there has been an increase in demand for these sorts of non-traditional classes, and Missouri State is doing a good job to meet that demand.

Other areas of growth include high school dual enrollment students, Executive MBA students, and students at the Darr School of Agriculture, where Simpson says enrollment is up by 13 percent over last year.

“With the expansion of the Darr Agriculture Center on South Kansas and most recently at the Journagan Ranch, where our students can go and get hands on experience in their fields of study in agriculture. So for students who are interested in agriculture, Missouri State is a great choice,” says Simpson. 

While about 90 percent of students who do choose Missouri State are from Missouri, a growing population of students is coming in from out of state, namely Illinois, Arkansas, and Kansas. Simpson says that the University plans to continue to grow student enrollment at Missouri State by around one percent per year.

For KSMU News, I’m Shane Franklin.