ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Preliminary fall 2011 enrollment figures at Mississippi’s eight public universities show an increase of almost 4,000 students, or 5.2 percent, from fall 2010 numbers.
System-wide enrollment has increased annually since 1994. This year’s increase is the largest single-year increase in enrollment.
Alcorn State University, Mississippi State University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Mississippi and Jackson State University have set new enrollment records for the fall term.
Coming off a record summer enrollment of over 1,900 students, Alcorn kicked off its new academic year by welcoming a record-breaking freshman class of more than 1,500 students and 495 transfer students. Overall fall headcount reached 4,391 registered students, exceeding the target of 4,100.
Mississippi State surpassed the 20,000-student enrollment milestone with a 2011 fall semester headcount of 20,424, a 3.97 percent increase from last year. The gain of 780 students from last year’s 19,644 total shows MSU on the rise for the seventh consecutive year.
Fall enrollment includes 700 students at the university’s Meridian campus.
The College of Arts and Sciences remains the largest academic unit with 5,241 students, followed by the College of Education with 3,816, the College of Engineering with 3,172, and the College of Business with 2,221.
USM has reached an all-time high, as a fourth-straight record freshman class and an emphasis on student retention have pushed overall enrollment up by nearly five percent.
A duplicated enrollment record of 17,968 represents a substantial increase over the fall 2010 semester, and includes another record freshman class that is eight percent larger than a year ago.
The enrollment figures include 14,795 students registered for courses in Hattiesburg and 3,167 students registered for courses at the Gulf Park campus or teaching sites along the Gulf Coast.
Preliminary enrollment figures show a total unduplicated headcount on all the University of Mississippi’s campuses of 20,824. That is up 1,278 students from last fall, a 6.5 percent increase.
Furthermore, enrollment has skyrocketed by 45.8 percent over the past decade, growing from 14,284 in 2001.
The student body includes 3,571 new freshmen, an increase of 15.6 percent over last fall, when UM enrolled the largest freshman class in Mississippi history.
A record 2,626 students are enrolled at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. That’s an increase of 165 students (6.7 percent) over last fall, with the largest increases coming in the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences (19 percent) and the School of Health Related Professions (14 percent), said Tom Fortner, the Medical Center’s chief public affairs and communications officer.
Demand continues to grow on the Tupelo campus, where 853 students are enrolled this year (up 4.5 percent from 816 last year). Enrollment also remains strong at satellite campuses in Southaven, where 962 students are enrolled, Booneville (90 students) and Grenada (89 students).
The Ole Miss student body, excluding the Medical Center, includes 15,329 undergraduates, 2,080 graduate students, 531 law students and 258 students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
Jackson State announced an enrollment of 8,903 students, which is a 2.5 percent increase over last year and the largest student body in JSU’s history.
Delta State University’s preliminary headcount is 4,624 students, up 6.9 percent over last fall.
Mississippi University for Women reports a preliminary enrollment of 2,663, up 2.9 percent over fall 2010.
Mississippi Valley State University is the only public institution to report an enrollment decrease. The preliminary fall 2011 enrollment is 2,526, a decrease of 4.2 percent compared to last fall.