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Local colleges see different trends in enrollment numbers

The country has seen a widespread decrease in college enrollment since the pandemic, including Missouri Western State University. However Northwest Missouri State University has seen an increase.

Posted: Dec 6, 2021 9:15 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The pandemic has affected most of our lives but one group of people it has had a big impact on is college students.

Whether or not to go to college or to take a year off, and affording college in the current economy, has been a big decision for most students. And universities are feeling the effects.

"So since the pandemic we've seen a decrease in enrollment of both new and continuing students," Dr. Melissa K. Mace from Missouri Western State University said.

Across the country, universities have seen an overall decrease in enrollment numbers, but one local school has experienced a positive trend.

"We are one of the institutions in the state that has increased enrollment the last few years and that's something that we're really proud of," Dr. Allison Hoffmann from Northwest Missouri State University said.

Northwest Missouri State University reached a school record enrollment for fall 2021 with more than 7,800 students total.

However Missouri Western State University has experienced a decrease like most schools in the United States. The school had a fall 2021 enrollment of almost 4,400 students...down 516 from last fall.

It's unclear how these two local schools are experiencing opposite trends but Missouri Western State University says it's hoping for a bigger enrollment next fall for one reason.

"Right now overall, we are up 62 percent in our applications and admitted students," Dr. Mace said.

Northwest Missouri State University says they hope to keep seeing growth in students but that meeting the needs of students as the pandemic sticks around is a priority.

"We've grown the last few years and we want to continue to see that growth. But again, we want to ensure that we are meeting the needs of students, we're meeting those changing learner needs," Dr. Hoffmann said.

There are other schools in the local area, but if you're interested in applying to these two schools you can go to their admissions sections on their university websites.

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