Morehead State University has set a record for fall enrollment headcount of 10,235 students, MSU President Wayne D. Andrews announced today (Sept. 15). This represents a 15.8 percent increase over fall 2010. The previous record of 9,509 students was set in fall 2003.
“My sincere appreciation goes out to the entire University community,” said Dr. Andrews. “Accomplishments like this are the result of a deliberate team effort and cannot be achieved through individual efforts alone.”
Fall enrollment is being bolstered by an 18.2 percent increase in first-time freshmen on campus. This fall, MSU’s Class of 2015 grew by more than 215 additional freshmen compared to last year. Improved student retention is also contributing to the record enrollment. From fall 2004 to fall 2010, the retention rate of first-time freshmen increased from 61 percent to nearly 73 percent, Dr. Andrews noted. “We are very pleased with the progress we are making in student retention but will not be satisfied until that critical measure of student success exceeds 80 percent.
"We have developed and are implementing a comprehensive multi-year enrollment and retention plan with deliberate strategies identified to improve the marketing and recruitment processes as well as improve student success,” said Dr. Andrews. "A record enrollment is a sure sign that prospective students and families believe Morehead State University is an outstanding place to pursue higher education and a college experience that is second to none."
The fall numbers also includes record enrollment in the Early College Program which enables academically qualified students to dual enroll in college-level courses during their junior and senior years of high school. While MSU has offered dual enrollment opportunities for several years, the efforts to enhance and expand the Early College Program was a direct initiative in support of Senate Bill 1 passed by the General Assembly in 2009 to strengthen the college-going rate of Kentucky high school graduates and to better align the curriculum between K-12 and postsecondary education.
“The Early College Program is an incredible opportunity for high school students to be better prepared as they enter postsecondary education as full-time university students,” said Dr. Andrews. “The program not only allows them to get a jump-start on courses reducing their time to degree but also increases affordability. It is possible for a student to complete as many as 24 lower-division college credit hours prior to graduating from high school and do it at no cost to the student.” Nearly 1,600 students from 31 high schools are participating in Early College in the fall 2011 term.
The number of students choosing to attend MSU isn’t the only area where the University has experienced growth and improvement over last year.
“We are especially pleased that along with the increase in the size of the freshman class, the average ACT composite score has also improved to 21.8,” said Jeffrey Liles, assistant vice president for enrollment services.
The University’s campus community is also more diverse this fall. The number of minority students seeking a degree increased by 26.2 percent during the past year and represents 5 percent of the total student population.
“Achieving future enrollment objectives will continue to require the dedicated efforts of the entire MSU community. Faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni know the value of an education. They all play a significant role in maintaining the excellence of Morehead State and helping us share our story with future students,” said Liles.
To learn more about MSU, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/futurestudents.