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Strong Retention, High-Quality Freshman Class Drive Mizzou’s Fall Enrollment

Returning students encouraged to engage, pledge on qualities that make MU experience distinctive

August 22nd, 2016

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

This video is available for broadcast-quality download and re-use. Closed caption video is also available. For more information, contact Nathan Hurst:

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— Mizzou began its fall semester today with its third-highest retention rate in the university’s history and the highest ACT scores of any incoming freshman class, both indications that the University of Missouri continues to be a top choice for quality higher education in Missouri.

“It is a new day on campus, and we are excited to welcome our students,” Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said. “As Missouri’s premier public flagship university, our mission of teaching, research, service and economic development has benefited the state for more than 175 years. We intend to build on our success from last year, which included receiving more than $225 million in research awards, having several faculty members named to national academies that recognize their excellence, winning numerous national awards for our students’ academic achievements, and having the most successful fundraising year in Mizzou’s history. We’re proud that our students returned to Mizzou this year in strong numbers. Our retention rate indicates that our students believe they can achieve their educational goals here.”

Preliminary figures show that total enrollment is 32,777. This year’s student body includes 4,799 freshmen, 25,627 undergraduates, 1,183 professional students, and 5,967 graduate students. The mean ACT of freshmen, an indicator of the academic quality of the class, tied a record high of 26.0. Additionally, Mizzou’s retention rate, which measures how many freshmen from the 2015-16 school year are returning to Mizzou, is at 85.4 percent, the third highest retention rate in the history of the university.

Of the 4,799 freshmen, 134 of them were valedictorians of their high school classes. Additionally, 29 percent of the freshman class ranks in the top 10 percent of their graduating high school classes and more than 50 percent rank in the top 20 percent of their graduating classes.

Today also marks the launch of a new initiative rooted in the university’s core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence. MU officials are asking every member of the university community to commit to adhering to these values by taking the Mizzou Pride Pledge, an initiative developed by a committee composed of faculty, staff and students charged with better aligning the university’s culture with its core values.

“Our core values are critical elements of our community, but they are only words until we integrate them as values in our individual lives and reflect them in our institutional policies and practices so that they become predominant in everything we do,” Foley said. “It’s essential that we all commit to incorporating these values every day in every interaction so that Mizzou is a place where everyone feels welcomed and valued.”