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MWSU enrollment at 5,388, with record Graduate School numbers

Members of the Class of 2020 pose for a group photo during Griffon Edge 2016.

Members of the Class of 2020 pose for a group photo during Griffon Edge 2016.

Missouri Western State University reported an enrollment of 5,388 on the official census date of Sept. 28, including a record 243 graduate students.

“We are pleased that our relatively young master’s degree programs continue to see steady, sustainable growth,” said Dr. Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This remains an opportunity for continued growth in the future, especially as we continue to bring new programs online, including our MBA program starting next year.”

The total enrollment is about 3 percent below last year’s total. One reason may be the improving economy, said Dr. Paul Orscheln, associate vice president for enrollment management and student retention.

“We saw a significant drop in the number of students age 30 and over, and that was a major factor in our overall numbers,” Dr. Orscheln said. “That’s usually an indication that adult learners are entering the work force rather than going back to school.”

Despite the decline, Dr. Orscheln said there are positive trends in the official enrollment numbers:

  • The retention rate, or percentage of last year’s first-time full-time freshman class that returned for their sophomore year, is the highest in the last nine years and the second highest on record.
  • The number of new students, including first-time full-time freshmen and new transfers, is up 3.4 percent over a year ago.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit