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The Student Success Center is a centralized hub providing a variety of academic resources at Northwest and an important piece in the quality experience students enjoy at the University. In fact, 82 percent of all Northwest students report they would repeat their experience at the University, compared to 75 percent of students surveyed nationally at their respective institutions. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

The Student Success Center is a centralized hub providing a variety of academic resources at Northwest and an important piece in the quality experience students enjoy at the University. In fact, 82 percent of all Northwest students report they would repeat their experience at the University, compared to 75 percent of students surveyed nationally at their respective institutions. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

March 1, 2021

Northwest announces record graduate enrollment, retention remains high


Northwest Missouri State University attained the highest graduate enrollment in its history this spring while also recording increases in overall enrollment, first-time freshman and retention.

The University’s spring census shows graduate enrollment increased by 40.6 percent from a year ago to 2,038 students, setting a record for any semester at the institution. Northwest’s overall enrollment increased by 6.9 percent from last spring to 6,877, and its first-time freshmen headcount is up 2.9 percent.

Additionally, Northwest’s fall-to-spring retention rate increased from 88.6 percent a year ago to 89.8 percent this spring.

“Academic quality, adapting COVID-19 mitigations and protecting the Northwest experience to the greatest extent possible are just a few of the features we celebrate as we report our strength in enrollment and retention,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “This all comes through an incredibly dedicated and passionate team of faculty and staff who focus on the student experience and overall student success.”

The spring semester enrollment counts follow a fall semester during which Northwest reported a headcount of 7,267 students, making that total the highest overall enrollment in the institution’s 115-year history. Traditionally, spring enrollment totals are lower than those recorded during the fall semester. 

Additionally, Northwest reports 835 students, or 12 percent of the student population, identify with underrepresented groups or hail from countries outside the United States. The University’s enrollment includes 364 international students, who represent about 5 percent of Northwest’s student body. They represent 39 countries with most of those students coming from India, Nigeria and China.

The University’s in-state student population this spring is 4,523 students, representing 34 percent of Northwest’s overall enrollment. Other students hail from a total of 38 states this while the institution continues to draw well from Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.

Away from Northwest’s main campus in Maryville, the number of students enrolled in online-only programs increased by 56.6 percent from a year ago to 1,806 students. At Northwest-Kansas City, where the University offers a range of coursework, including dual credit offerings and degree completion programs, 382 students are enrolled.

“We do not take our successes for granted and will continue enhancing our prized Northwest experience and culture as we navigate the pandemic to a sense of normalcy as the months pass,” Jasinski said.

Affordable education helps students succeed

Northwest provides students with tools they can use to succeed in and out of the classroom. Textbooks and a laptop are provided as part of students' tuition costs, saving students an estimated $7,200 over four years. (Photo by Brandon Bland/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest provides students with tools they can use to succeed in and out of the classroom. Textbooks and a laptop are provided as part of students' tuition costs, saving students an estimated $7,200 over four years. (Photo by Brandon Bland/Northwest Missouri State University)

Illustrating its quality, Northwest’s placement rates indicate that 96 percent of bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data. Zippia, a career website, names Northwest the best college in Missouri for getting a job.

Additionally, results of the 2019-2020 Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory show Northwest students enjoy higher satisfaction than national and regional peers on all scales. In fact, 82 percent of all Northwest students report they would repeat their Northwest experience, compared to 75 percent of students surveyed nationally at their respective institutions.

Northwest places a high emphasis on profession-based learning to help graduates get a jumpstart on their careers. Students have opportunities to build their résumés with experiences on campus in nearly every area of study, including the Horace Mann Laboratory SchoolNational Public Radio affiliate KXCV, the R.T. Wright Farm, Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area or Knacktive, a student-driven integrated digital marketing communications agency.

In relation to value, Northwest includes textbooks and a laptop in its tuition costs, which is among the lowest in the nation, saving students an estimated $7,200 over four years. Northwest also offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to earn money while building professional skills through the internationally benchmarked program. 

Ninety percent of first-time, full-time freshmen receive some form of financial aid, which includes Northwest’s innovative Bearcat Advantage and American Dream Grant programs. The University also offers low-cost housing and a rate structure for graduate students that is based on market demand and program offerings rather than a traditional model based on residency.

To help students graduate in four years or less and accrue less debt, Northwest’s “Complete 30” initiative encourages students to take a personalized approach to meeting their academic goals and complete 30 credit hours during the course of an academic year. To assist students with meeting that goal, Northwest reduced the number of credits needed to earn a bachelor’s degree from 124 to 120.

Furthermore, a recent report released by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development shows Northwest is the most efficient among state universities for state appropriations per degree and certificate granted.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704