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Mizzou applications are ‘roaring back’

On the heels of enhanced recruitment measures and affordability initiatives, preliminary numbers show freshman applications up nearly 17% while transfers are up more than 12%

February 2nd, 2018

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

COLUMBIA, Mo. – As shared by Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright with the University of Missouri Board of Curators today, preliminary applications numbers show increasing interest in the university from freshmen and transfer students.

As of Jan. 29, freshman applications at the University of Missouri were up 16.8 percent, from 15,060 this time last year to 17,583. Transfer applications increased 12.2 percent, from 806 applications to 904.

“Mizzou is roaring back. We have been aggressively looking for opportunities to share our story with prospective students and their families, and that story is resonating,” Cartwright said. “Mizzou is an exceptional university that attracts students who are curious and passionate about taking on the big problems facing the world today. Whether you want to seek solutions to feeding the nation or inform the public through investigative journalism or teach tomorrow’s leaders, there is a place for you at Mizzou. We offer a one-of-a-kind collegiate experience, and there has never been a better time to be at Mizzou. I am delighted to see students voting with their applications—we can’t wait to welcome them to campus.”

MU has amped up its enrollment activities in the past year by adding more personal outreach, more events in high schools and at college fairs, and increased out-of-state recruitment.

“We called on our team to re-examine how we do things and think outside the box,” said Pelema Morrice, vice provost for enrollment management. “I am proud of these efforts and encouraged by these early numbers. Mizzou has momentum, and we plan to keep that energy going.”

Some examples of recent recruitment activities include:

  • Visited more than 600 Missouri high schools last fall.
  • Attended more than 450 college fairs nationwide last fall.
  • Hosted more than 20 counselor events last fall.
  • Added new, off-campus events last fall, including “Scholars Nights” in St. Louis and Kansas City.
  • Added personalized communications to admitted students and increased the reach to more prospects.
  • Introduced the Common App, which applicants can use to apply to hundreds of colleges and universities worldwide.

Not only has the university focused on increasing its freshman class, it also has worked to build bridges with transfer students. For example, last May the university signed a memorandum of understanding with Moberly Area Community College. Called MIZZOUMACC, the initiative is administered through MU’s Community College Pathways Program.

In addition, last year the campus announced several affordability initiatives, including:

  • The Border State Scholars award for eligible out-of-state students coming from one of Missouri’s eight border states: Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma or Tennessee.
  • The Black and Gold Scholarship expands MU’s out-of-state scholarships for eligible children of alumni.
  • new ROTC scholarship that will cover room and board costs for the freshman year for incoming ROTC students who are national scholarship winners from the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines.
  • reduction in the cost of Mizzou’s most common housing and dining plans.
  • The Missouri Land Grant Compact, which covers the tuition gap for any Pell-eligible Missouri resident.
  • Changes to student charge that prevent students from accumulating debt for non-academic expenses.
  • textbook initiative encouraging Open Educational Resources (OER) in classes, as well as the AutoAccess option for textbooks at all four campuses. As a result, textbooks at the Mizzou Store this fall are, on average, 18 percent cheaper than they were in fall 2016.

“Mizzou is already an outstanding value by many measures, and our students borrow 25 percent less than the national average to pay for college. Furthermore, our students are in demand—a recent survey found 90.4 percent of our students found successful career outcomes,” Cartwright said. “As a land-grant university, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to make higher education more accessible and to give a higher return on our students’ investments.”

Pronunciation guide: Pelema is pronounced “Pah – lem – uh,” and Morrice is pronounced “Morris.”