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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Census Shows Five-year Growth in Enrollment, Although No Record This Year

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Sept. 20, 2016) – Fall 2016 census data collected the week of Sept. 12-16 at the University of Central Missouri indicate that while enrollment is below last year’s all-time record, the university in the last five years has experienced a 20.2 percent increase in overall student headcount and an 11.3 percent increase in total credit hours. Sustained numbers and growth in minority populations that include African American, Hispanic and Asian students also are being experienced at UCM.

UCM President Charles Ambrose spoke briefly about enrollment and the university’s success in graduating students when he presented his State of the University Address Thursday, Sept. 15 in Hart Recital Hall. He emphasized that the university’s focus is on academic excellence and the overall objective is to help students earn their degree. The president pointed out that last year the university graduated 707 more students than it did the previous year, which he said is consistent with a string of continuous enrollment increases that took place between fall 2007 to fall 2015, a time when the number of Missouri students entering college was decreasing overall.

“It makes it difficult within a declining demographic and a very competitive marketplace to sustain that degree of enrollment growth,” Ambrose said. “This is the first fall semester in almost a decade we don’t have more headcount students on this campus than we’ve had the year before.”

He added, however, that “this is probably the most academically prepared class since 2007, and one of the three most academically prepared classes we’ve had since 1994.” The average student ACT score in fall 2016 is 22.4, up from 21.92 a year ago, and 21.68 in 2011. The university also has the largest enrollment in the Honors College, marching band and ROTC, according to the president.

Combined graduate and undergraduate student headcount for fall 2016 is 13,988 students, down 2.8 percent from a year ago. Enrollment since 2011, when there were 11,637 students, has grown by 20.2 percent, a 2,351-student increase. Of this fall’s total student population, undergraduates account for 9,786 enrollments, and graduate students comprise 4,202 of the total population.

Total enrollment reflects data submitted to the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and does not include exclusive course auditors, people taking courses for no-credit, members of the THRIVE program, Visiting Consortium and Continuing Education/No Credit students. When these students are factored in, the total headcount is 14,148.

The university continues to enjoy a diverse campus and census data shows slight percentage gains among the largest minority groups that include Black/African American students representing 7.7 percent of the total student population, up 0.2 percent from a year ago; Hispanic students accounting for 3.4 percent of the student body, up 0.3 percent; and Asian students representing 0.8 percent of the students, an increase of 0.1 percent.

The university has initiated measures over the years that include the Learning to a Greater Degree  Contract for student completion to help increase student retention rates. Census data shows that the one-year retention of first-time full-time freshman since 2011 has gradually climbed from 68.7 percent to 70.8 percent.

 With its overall increase in students over the past five years, UCM has experienced strong graduation  rates. During the 2015-2016 academic year, the university has graduated a total of 4,133 students, including both undergraduates and graduate students.  This represents a 65.1 percent increase over the total 2,503 students who graduated in 2010-2011.