MU enrollment down from 2015, but slightly higher than projected

A projected decrease for overall enrollment at the University of Missouri this fall came true Monday, the first day of classes.

Late spring estimates from the UM System forecasted that enrollment would drop by about 2,600 students. On Monday, 2,273 fewer students were enrolled in classes. A total of 32,777 students are enrolled for the fall semester, down from 35,050 last year.

The biggest losses were seen to the number of freshmen and out-of-state students. The university welcomed 4,799 freshmen, the smallest group in almost a decade. The number is larger than the projection of 4,750, but it’s still down by 1,412 from this time last year.

Administrators cited a variety of reasons for the enrollment decline during a hard-fought UM System budget session in the spring. A decrease in graduating high school seniors, increasing competition from neighboring state universities and a semester of protests and administrative turnover were all said to contribute to lower student enrollment.

The enrollment decline created a projected budget gap of about $32 million, which administrators filled with measures including a hiring freeze and budget cuts to each department, but the effects of the cuts remain to be fully seen.

Read more: Columbia Missourian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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