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MSU Tries to Capitalize on Record Enrollment with Strong Retention

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Credit: Scott Harvey

This academic year, Missouri State welcomed 2,698 first-time freshmen and 1,718 transfer students to the college. These numbers reflect an 8.5 percent and 8.6 percent increase, respectively, over 2012.

Donald Simpson, vice president for Enrollment Management and Services, says there are many offices who work to bring students to Missouri State.

“Our success in enrollment is really a credit to the entire campus,” Simpson said.

While the Office of Enrollment Management concerns its tasks with bringing students here, retention rates are just as important; not only to university administrators but to student leaders.

The Student Government Association, or SGA, is the official voice for MSU students and representative of their concerns. Student Body President David Schneider says SGA makes it a priority to keep an open line of communication with their fellow students.  

“I’d say one of our biggest responsibilities in that area is speaking with students and finding out what their concerns are, what we can do to make their experience here better and act as liaisons between them and the administration to communicate those issues,” he said.  

Another important aspect of retention, says Schneider, is giving voice to students of all backgrounds, which will be a strong focal point this year.

“One focus we’d really like to work on this year is diversity and specifically the inclusion aspect of that; the university is trying to improve the diversity of its students, staff, faculty and administration.”

Vice President Simpson says retention rates will be reviewed by the fourth week of classes. Last year, MSU enrolled 2,503 first-time freshmen and 1,621 transfer students ahead of the fall semester. A month into classes, just 18 students were no longer enrolled, accounting for a 99 percent retention for both freshmen (2,491) and transfers (1,615).

For KSMU News, I’m Briana Simmons.