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Missouri State University Fall Enrollment Hits Record Numbers

  Missouri State University enrolled a system record 24,489 students for the Fall 2014 semester.

Enrollment numbers are up 449 students from last year to bring the Fall 2015 enrollment to 24,735 students. First-year student enrollment is also at a record 2,178 students, an increase of 377 students from last year.

Out of the 24,735 students enrolled, the Springfield campus hosts a record 22,834 of those students. The West Plains campus hosts 1,993 students, which is actually a decline from the previous year’s enrollment of 2,193 students. 92 students are enrolled on both the Springfield and West Plains campus and were not counted twice in the total number of students enrolled

For Don Simpson, the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Missouri State University, the rise in enrollment doesn’t come as a shock. In fact, this is all a part of a bigger plan. 

“We had a long range plan that called for a modest annual growth during the period of the plan which is 2011 to 2016,” Simpson said. “Growth in the range of one to two percent per year. And we’ve grown about two percent each year for the past three years.”

Simpson attributes the growth in enrollment to additions of recreational facilities, low cost tuition and academic programs.

But enrollment numbers aren’t just rising at Missouri State, they’re rising across the state of Missouri. According to Liz Coleman of the Missouri Department of Higher Education, this upward enrollment trend has been going on for years.

“It has increased more for the four year public colleges,” Coleman said. “Some of the two year public colleges have seen a decrease. But overall, when both two year and four year are averaged together, enrollment is continuing to increase as it has for several decades.”

While increased enrollment can be seen as a positive, housing all the students can come as a challenge. Simpson said no plans were made to increase housing on campus but local developers are looking to add apartments around campus.