Undergraduate enrollment on the first day of classes at the University of Missouri-Rolla is expected to be 4,052, an increase of 14 students over last year’s record figure of 4,038, says Laura Stoll, UMR registrar. The undergraduate enrollment is now more than 12 percent larger than that of fall 2000.
To better control the new student growth, the university announced in June that it would close freshmen admission for its engineering programs. This is the second year for the university to cap the size of its freshman class. Late applicants had their admission deferred to the winter semester that begins in January.
"We are very pleased with the number and high quality of students choosing UMR," says UMR Chancellor Gary Thomas. "Our number one priority is meeting their educational needs and helping them have a successful learning experience while they are on campus."
With 884 freshmen and 291 new transfer students this fall, the new student class is one of the largest since the mid 1980s. This year’s mean ACT score, a measure of the quality of the freshman class, was in the upper eight percent in the nation.
Due to construction delays in UMR’s new Residential College and the continuing undergraduate enrollment gains, the campus has exceeded its student housing capacities. More than 100 of the new students will be living in off-campus housing or at a local hotel for the start of the fall semester.
"We want our first-year students to get the full campus experience, so housing them in area hotels can be nice for the student, but not ideal," says Jay Goff, dean of enrollment management. "Our campus housing and student life staffs have done a wonderful job at making the arrangements make sure the students’ can be successful."
Enrollment in the university’s doctoral and distance education programs is expected to grow again this fall, but the number of master’s level international students will likely be down again this year. So far, 1,176 students are enrolled in graduate classes. In 2003, 1,249 graduate students were enrolled at UMR. At the end of pre-registration, there were 102 fewer master’s-level students than last year.
New immigration rules have caused nationwide declines in international student enrollment, especially in engineering and science programs. "We expected our international master’s student enrollment to slip again this year," says Dr. Henry Wiebe, vice provost of UMR Global. "But we are glad that the decline is less than we anticipated."
The total enrollment will likely be close to 5,500 once students finish enrolling in fall classes. "We will continue to enroll students through the first few weeks of the fall semester," says Goff. "We typically gain more than 200 students by the end of registration."
The official fall semester enrollment numbers will be released after the fourth week of classes. UMR classes begin Monday, Aug. 23.