JOPLIN, MO. – Missouri Southern State University reported 4,107 students as of the census day last Friday, compared to 4,155 in the fall of 2022, an approximate 1 percent drop.
However, student credit hours increased 1 percent from 45,027 in Fall 2022 to 45,444 this fall according to data collected by the University.
Despite the drop, new student enrollment at Missouri Southern State University increased 6.5 percent for the fall 2023 semester, the second consecutive year of growth in total freshmen, transfer, and graduate students new to campus. Last fall, new students grew 1.7 percent.
Additionally, the retention rate of first-time full-time freshmen – those who entered in fall 2022 and stayed enrolled in fall 2023 – increased 8 percent over the previous year and was the highest at MSSU in the past 17 years.
“More students and their families are recognizing the quality and value of a Missouri Southern education, and more students are attracted to the vibrancy of our campus and making longer commitments to their education here,” MSSU President Dean Van Galen said. “With strong academic programs, a vibrant campus, and an array of scholarship opportunities, MSSU is increasingly a first-choice university for the four-states region and beyond.”
For this fall, Missouri Southern enrolled 378 new transfer students – a 19 percent increase – and saw a 63 percent increase in new graduate students including enrollment in the university’s new master’s degree programs in healthcare administration and in data analytics.
While more than 90 percent of the university’s freshmen class hails from the Four States, the class also represents 19 different states and seven different countries.
Top majors of interest to new freshmen include nursing, criminal justice, business, psychology, computer information systems, and biomedical science.
“We are thrilled to welcome new students to the Lion Pride and are excited that we are a part of their college journey,” said Dr. Shellie Hewitt, MSSU’s Dean of Admissions. “We look forward to many more students choosing MSSU as their preferred institution for high-quality academics and much more.”