For the first time in more than two decades, the University of Missouri-Rolla expects to exceed the 6,000-student mark for fall enrollment. Enrollment on the first day of classes is expected to be 5,986, an increase of 323 students over that of fall 2006, says UMR Registrar Laura Stoll.
“We will continue to enroll both undergraduate and graduate students throughout the first few weeks of the fall semester,” says Jay Goff, UMR dean of enrollment management. “The total enrollment usually grows by more than 100 students before the end of the first week of classes.”
When final enrollment figures are tallied at the end of the fourth week of classes, university officials expect student enrollment to top 6,000. UMR’s enrollment hasn’t reached 6,000 students since 1986, Stoll says.
Reaching total enrollment of 6,000 students was a goal the university set for itself in 2001. Over the last seven years, the overall opening day enrollment has grown by more than 1,527 students, or more than 34 percent. Since 2000, undergraduate enrollment has grown by 1,085 students and graduate enrollment has increased by 442 students.
“One of our strategic goals was to steadily grow this great university with the most talented and diverse students,” says UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III. “Many people have helped make this historic achievement happen. We greatly appreciate all of the efforts made by the UMR faculty and staff and the Rolla community to help add the appropriate classes and student accommodations.”
To prepare for the increases, last February UMR started adding instructors and class sections. The additional housing needs have been met with the completion of the second 260-bed Residential College building and the opening of a number of new apartments in the Rolla community.
“It is so nice to know that every student has a quality place to live close to campus. The new suite-style housing complexes are absolutely gorgeous,” says Lynn Stichnote, UMR’s director of admissions. “The students seem to really like the upscale facilities.”
Much of this year’s growth can be linked directly to strong increases in student success rates. About 60 percent of the increased enrollment is due to a higher number of students returning to the university.
“The entire campus is engaged in helping students succeed in their goal of earning a degree at UMR,” says Harvest Collier, UMR’s vice provost for undergraduate studies. “Our new goals and second-year support programs will clearly illustrate our intent to be a national leader in student retention and success.”
With 1,054 freshmen, 265 new transfer students and 374 new graduate students already enrolled, the 2007 class is one of the three largest and most talented new student classes in UMR’s history. The freshman class is 7 percent larger than the 981 students that were enrolled the first day of classes in 2006.
UMR continues to attract high-quality students. This fall, more than one-third of the new students were ranked in the upper 10 percent of their high school class and 77 freshmen were noted as their class valedictorian or salutatorian. The average ACT score, which is higher than last year’s class, will again be in the upper 10 percent of the nation.
Although demand for UMR’s Freshman Engineering Program is at a record high with more than 850 students already registered, many other degree programs continue to grow substantially. Over the past six years, biology, history, mathematics, psychology, information science and technology and business programs have more than doubled their enrollments.
The official fall enrollment figures will be available after the fourth week of classes. Fall classes at UMR begin Monday, Aug. 20.