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University of Missouri sees increase in enrollment applications


The University of Missouri is seeing its largest number of enrollment applications in nearly 10 years.

MU Chancellor Mun Choi said in last week's Board of Curators meeting that the university is seeing its highest amount of enrollment applications since 2015, with a noticeable increase in enrollment deposits.

"The excitement at the university is growing," Choi said Thursday.

Data shows that as of April 1, MU had 23,876 enrollment applications. This is up from 21,078 in the same time period in 2023 and 19,811 in 2022.

University spokesperson Christian Basi said MU has also seen a 14% increase in deposits compared to last year. Those are refundable deposits students put down to gain early access to things like housing choices. He said there are already more than 6,000 deposits compared to about 5,300 last year.

Basi said these are a good indicator of enrollment numbers.

"We're going to have a very strong and robust freshman class coming in in the fall, and that's always a fun time," Basi said. "The more students are here, the more energy we have on campus."

One student on campus said he believes the enthusiasm around Mizzou Athletics is driving people to MU, and Basi said that is a factor.

"People tend to translate that: 'A successful team means a successful university, and if I'm going to go there, I'm going to be successful,'" Basi said.

Basi said enrollment was up in 2015 due to the Baby Boom Echo and an increase in graduating high school seniors. These increases in population are typically followed by a dip, according to Basi, which he called the enrollment cliff.

Since 2015, MU dealt with not only the cliff but a pandemic and large racial protests. Basi said the university recovered from a drop in enrollment due to the protests within two or three years and didn't see as large of an enrollment drop after the pandemic as other universities did.

He said enrollment has been climbing, but another cliff is expected soon. He said these cliffs affect all colleges, not just MU.

"We're looking at another enrollment cliff coming up, so we are watching that very carefully," Basi said. "That's a population thing. There are just not that many students that are going to be graduating from high school in the next few years."

Data also shows the university saw a slight decrease in online students in 2024, from 5,179 online students in 2023 and 4,825 in 2024.

Official enrollment numbers will come out in the fall, which Basi said is typically the biggest time for applications.

MU announced earlier this month it extended its enrollment deadline, and the date to get refunds on deposits, to May 15 due to changes to the FAFSA.

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Morgan Buresh

Morgan is an evening anchor and reporter who came to ABC 17 News in April 2023.


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