MSSU announces increased enrollment, points to Merit Scholarship program

Missouri Southern State University on Friday announced an increase in first-time freshmen for the first time in seven years. KPRS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Enrollment at local colleges and universities has been brutal the past few years, following a national trend.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2020, enrollment at America’s higher education institutions was down five percent. MSSU experienced a more significant drop-off in enrollment declines. Last fall Southern reported a 13.6 percent drop in total student enrollment.

On Friday, MSSU’s Dean of Admission, Dr. Shellie Hewitt, said the university had experienced an increase of 5.84 percent in new, first-time freshmen and an increase in the number of graduate and international students. It marks the first time since 2016 for the university to welcome a new class of students with increased enrollment from the previous year.

However, the university didn’t release the raw data. University officials say that key factors include the new MOSO Merit Scholarship program and an increased number of on-campus events as factors for improved enrollment.

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