Spring enrollment figures rise 3 percent

Spring enrollment figures rise 3 percent

Spring enrollment figures rise 3 percent

Nate Billings

More students are finding their way to Missouri Southern’s campus.

Total enrollment is up 3 percent from last semester. Total credit hours taken is also up by 3 percent.

The campus population is at 5,119 students, up from 4,971 students last semester.

“I’m really pleased with the increase,” said Derek Skaggs, director of enrollment services. “A lot of it is from the increase in the fall.”

Skaggs said the trends are hard to predict, but sometimes follow a pattern from semester to semester.

“The idea is if you grow in the fall, you’ll grow in the spring and then your retention rates are up,” he said.

Dr. Delores Honey, assistant vice president for assessment and institutional research, said the increase shows in other aspects of the student population.

“It has an impact on full time versus part time students,” she said. “Full-time students are more likely to graduate.”

The full-time student population is up by 5.2 percent.

Honey said the increase in population is due to several factors including enrollment tuition prices and fees.

“Students are seeing more quality for the price,” she said.

Skaggs agreed, but said the process has been in the works for some time, allowing for Southern to pass the work onto the students.

“What we try to promote here is an increase in quality education for a fair price,” he said.

“Students are comparison shoppers,” Honey said. “There’s so much more than tuition to go into account.”

She said the increase in enrollment is a recovery from previous years when retention rates were dropping.

Honey said she found the out-of-state student population is also up 8.2 percent, which means the students are coming from more areas outside the designated in-state counties outside of Missouri.

“It’s just a trend we just noticed,” Honey said. “We always hope for an increase. It’s always nice to see it come true.”

Skaggs and Honey said part of the increase is due to new scholarships offered for students outside of the area.

“A lot of it has been from Susan Miller, our transfer counselor,” Skaggs said.

He said Miller has helped to reach out to institutions farther away than before.

Skaggs said there is also a trend to see fewer students enroll in the spring semesters because there is only a handful of students who will graduate from high school in December.

He also said the number of stop-outs, or students who take a semester off to work, throws the enrollment figures off in small amounts.

Honey said she would like to see all students being retained, and the enrollment figures help the University with the task by breaking down which programs and services help keep students in school.

“They help us understand the students we’re supposed to be serving,” she said.