Record-setting enrollment at MSU tops 22,000


MSU Office of Public Affairs



In its fifth consecutive year of historic growth, Mississippi State celebrates its 140-year anniversary by accelerating student enrollment well over the 22,000 mark, an attainment that's been a top priority for MSU President Mark E. Keenum. 


With this fall's arrival of 22,201 students, Mississippi's leading research university is seeing 318 more enroll than last year's 21,883, while also growing diversity of the student body to more than a quarter -- 27 percent -- of MSU's degree-seeking population. A record number of new transfer students also is contributing to the university's unprecedented enrollment, and first-time freshman numbers are up from fall 2017. 


The exceptional growth, Keenum said, can be attributed to the university's expansion of student opportunities and offerings, spearheaded by the "outstanding faculty and staff who truly are driven to make a difference in the lives of those who choose Mississippi State. 


"We're providing a signature educational experience that extends way beyond the classroom to show students that far-reaching goals are attainable and then positioning these students for long-term success. No matter where students begin their journeys with Mississippi State, they have countless possibilities to learn, lead and grow." he said. 


The surge in fall numbers includes: 


  • Record new transfer students (2,142 up from 2,062) 


  • More first-time freshmen (3,599 up from 3,438) 


  • Highest average freshman ACT score in history (25.6) 


  • Record Shackouls Honors College first-time freshmen (632 up from 475) 


  • Record distance education enrollment (1,870 up from 1,788) 


  • Increased Meridian campus enrollment (595 up from 522) 


  • More out-of-state students (35 percent) 


  • No. 1 college choice for Mississippi's high school graduates 


    New opportunities for students to attain membership in the nation's most prestigious academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa, expanded undergraduate research and distance education programs, and more study abroad ventures and scholarship options through the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College are at the heart of the increase. Also, engagement in abundant community service projects, enhanced housing that includes living-learning communities, and two residence hall choices in the Honors College are contributing to the considerable boost. 


    MSU, a National Science Foundation Top 100 research university that's continuously building on its legacy as a premier academic institution, ranks sixth globally in entrepreneurship research as cited by the international Journal of Small Business Management and is in the Top 5 percent nationally for agriculture research according to the NSF.



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