Oct. 11, 2011
Northwest's enrollment reaches all-time high for fourth straight year
For the fourth consecutive year, Northwest Missouri State University's enrollment has reached a record high, providing further proof that students in the region and beyond see it as a top destination for a comprehensive academic experience.
Northwest's total student headcount reached 7,225 students this fall, a 1.2 percent increase from last year's enrollment, Northwest's Dean of Enrollment Management Bev Schenkel reported. Additionally, that number includes a record freshman class, totaling 1,498 students, which is an 8 percent increase from last year.
The enrollment total consists of 6,281 undergraduate students and 944 graduate students representing 48 states and 33 countries. Undergraduate headcount rose by 1.4 percent, while full-time equivalencies, a ratio used to represent a theoretical student enrolled in courses totaling 12 credit hours, remained even with last year. Northwest students enrolled this fall are taking a total of 87,628 credit hours.
Northwest's fall enrollment also represents the most diverse student body in Northwest's history with 1,053 students, or 14.6 percent, coming from an underrepresented domestic group or another country. Northwest's total minority enrollment is 784 students, which represents 11 percent of the student body and a 12.5 percent increase from last year. Total international enrollment is 269 students, or 3.7 percent of Northwest's total enrollment, with the majority of those students coming from India, China, Korea, Japan and Canada.
While the fall enrollment numbers show continued growth, Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski noted several key factors that illustrate the University also is helping its students succeed. Northwest freshmen have a success rate of 74 percent, compared to the state average of 68 percent for other moderately selective institutions. Freshman success rate is defined by the state as the completion of 24 credit hours with a 2.00 grade-point average or higher in the first academic year of a student's enrollment.
Additionally, Northwest's graduation rate is 58 percent while the national average for similar institutions is 45 percent. Ninety-three percent of Northwest graduates report finding employment or continuing their education within six months of graduation.
"We are pleased to have set record enrollment numbers again this fall, but we are more proud that our success rates remain significantly better than other regional institutions," Jasinski said. "At Northwest, we are focused on student success - every student, every day - and our students continue to achieve at high levels, in the classroom and beyond. Plus, our campus is extremely safe, it's a pleasure for our students to call it home and we receive tremendous support of our community. Students see that when they come to Northwest, and it keeps them coming back."
About 71 percent of Northwest's fall 2010 freshmen returned to the University this year, placing Northwest's freshman retention rate above the national average. Further proof of Northwest's reputation as an attractive University for students and professionals can be found in the increased numbers of transfer students, returning students and non-degree seeking graduate students enrolled at Northwest this fall. Transfer students increased this fall to a total of 357 students, up by 22 percent from last year. About 57 percent of the students transferring to Northwest come from within the state; out-of-state transfers represent 15 states.
Schenkel noted this fall's freshman class is strong academically with an average ACT score of 22.1, which is higher than the national average of 21.1 and the state average of 21.6. The freshmen enrolled at Northwest this fall carried an average high school grade-point average of 3.32, and 39 percent of them ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating class. About 72 percent of this year's freshmen are Missouri residents, while out-of-state freshmen represent 23 states.
Northwest also saw a 4.5 percent increase in out-of-state enrollment compared to last year with 1,997 students hailing from beyond the Missouri border. Seventy-two percent, or 5,228 students at Northwest, are Missouri residents.
"The fact that our enrollment continues to grow is a testament that students value the high quality education and the broad range of opportunities available to them at Northwest," Schenkel said.
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468