University of Mississippi enrollment down for third consecutive year

Published 2:54 pm Thursday, November 14, 2019

The downward trend of University of Mississippi’s enrollment numbers continued this year.

For the third consecutive year the university saw a decline with the release of their 2019 enrollment numbers across all six campuses. A total of 22,273 students are enrolled at an Ole Miss campus throughout Mississippi, which is a drop of 817 students from 2018 or a 3.5 percent decrease. That is the highest percentage drop of the past three years.

Since 2016, when the University posted its highest enrollment numbers in history with 24,250 students, it has seen a decrease of nearly 2,000 students.

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“We recognize that it is a challenging environment to recruit students because of declining numbers of college and university students nationally, and we are addressing this challenge through additional investments in technology, marketing and recruiting,” said Ole Miss chancellor Glenn Boyce. “We are proud to offer an unsurpassed learning environment and life-changing student experiences.”

A majority of Ole Miss students, 58.3 percent, are Mississippi residents. There are 5,395 students, or 24.2 percent, who are minorities. African American enrollment totals 2,788 students, or 12.5 percent of overall enrollment.

The news was not all bad for Ole Miss, with this year’s first-year retention rate at 86.8 percent which is a historical high for the Oxford campus.

The¬†Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College¬†enrolled 1,672 students this fall, up 4.7 percent from last fall’s total of 1,597. This includes 401 new Honors College enrollees, with 56.5 percent of them being Mississippi residents. The Honors College freshman class posted an average ACT of 31.4 and an average high school GPA of 3.98.

“We are thrilled with the energy and potential that our students bring to our campus,” said Noel Wilkin, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Our faculty and staff are committed to offering academic programs that help all students unleash their abilities and passion to pursue educational and career paths that enable them to be successful.”

The University of Mississippi Medical Center saw a slight increase in enrollment this fall. A total of 2,852 students were enrolled in 2019 compared to last year’s total of 2,816.

The Institute of Higher Learning released the enrollment numbers for all Mississippi universities on Wednesday, posting a 1.6 decrease from 2018’s total of 79,193. This year there are a total of 77,896 students enrolled in all eight universities.

“Mississippi Public Universities are preparing the workforce of the future,” said. Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education. “As these students graduate and enter the workforce, they will earn more, pay more in taxes and be less likely to be unemployed. They will become the leaders in our companies and our communities and contribute to the betterment of our state.”

Mississippi University for Women saw the biggest increase with a 3.8 percent jump in enrollment numbers from last year to this year. Mississippi Valley State University had the biggest drop with a 6 percent decrease in 2019.