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New school year opens with energy

With flags flying, Marching Mizzou members lead the Class of '13 through the Columns.

At the 15th annual Tiger Walk Aug. 23, the Mizzou Alumni Association welcomed thousands of new students to campus for the start of the 2009–10 academic year. As the students charged through the Columns toward Jesse Hall, faculty, staff and community volunteers stood ready at 12 tables filled with 4,300 cartons of Tiger Stripe ice cream.

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Come Monday morning, Aug. 24, opening-day enrollment stood at 30,831, up 3.6  percent or 1,070 students from a year earlier. This year’s freshman enrollment at 5,620 is the second highest in MU’s history, reports Ann Korschgen, vice provost for Enrollment Management. Today’s freshman enrollment is 192 fewer students than last year’s record-breaking class, but 593 more than two years ago.

“The focus across campus has been on ensuring student success, which is reflected in the record retention rate of 85.4 percent of our 5,800 freshmen who enrolled last year,” Korschgen said. “We are very pleased that these students are staying at MU.”

On opening day, enrollment of minority students, including African Americans and Hispanics, was up as well. MU welcomed 484 African-American freshmen, up 14.7 percent from 422 last year, and 152 Hispanic freshmen, up 16 percent from 131 last year.

“Increasing the diversity on our campus has been our goal for several years,” Korschgen says. “With great work from many across campus, including our dedicated enrollment management team, we have seen those numbers rise steadily over the last several years. We are thrilled at this growth, and we are committed to helping all of our students have a successful college career.”

This year’s mean ACT score — a measure of the quality of this year’s freshman class — is 25.6, the highest in eight years. The state average ACT score is 21.6. The national average is 21.1.

“Not only is our enrollment increasing, but the quality and diversity of our students is increasing as well,” Korschgen says. “This demonstrates to us that Mizzou continues to be the top choice for scholars throughout the state.”

Official enrollment figures will be available following the 20th day of classes.

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