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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

On Day 1, Springfield Enrollment Slightly Up, West Plains Down

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Scott Harvey

Missouri State University says its opening day enrollment is 1.2 percent better than last fall’s.

The university said Monday that 21,351 students were enrolled at the Springfield campus, 244 more than this time a year ago.

The figure includes 1.8 percent more first-time new in college students and a 4.2 percent jump in graduate students. MSU President Clif Smart told KSMU last week its international student population was expected to be down by as much as 100. Monday’s numbers do show students from underrepresented groups increased by 5.6 percent, with about 10 percent more Hispanic and Asian students.

“One of our main university goals is to increase the number of diverse students who attend Missouri State,” said Smart. “We’re pleased to see that we’ve been able to maintain a steady increase in this area.” 

At MSU West Plains, student enrollment was 1,611 Monday. At this time last year, the school had 1,827. Chancellor Drew Bennett said in a news release that the decline isn’t a surprise, noting enrollment at a majority of two and four-year schools across Missouri is also down.

“There are many factors that affect enrollment; however, the number of students attending under Missouri’s A+ Scholarship Program are up 8 percent for opening day, which indicates that Missouri State-West Plains continues to be an attractive option for high school graduates. The number of students will continue to fluctuate until the 20th day of class because a few programs are still enrolling.”

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