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9/9/2013 - Jackson, Miss.

More than 80,000 students are working toward building a successful career and brighter future by pursuing a college degree. Across Mississippi's eight public universities, preliminary fall 2013 enrollment figures show an decrease of 490 students from fall 2012 numbers. This is the first time in 20 years that overall enrollment has shown a decrease.

“While the decrease system-wide is small,” said Dr. Hank M. Bounds, Commissioner of Higher Education. “It does demonstrate that the changes in the Pell Grant program are having an impact on the decisions students are making.”

Preliminary enrollment figures are unduplicated and count students one time if enrolled on more than one campus.

Unduplicated Headcount Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Number Change Percent Change
Actual figures Preliminary figures
Alcorn State University 3,950 3,927 -23 -0.6%
Delta State University 4,763 4,785 22 0.5%
Jackson State University 8,819 9,134 315 3.6%
Mississippi State University 20,365 20,161 -204 -1.0%
Mississippi University for Women 2,650 2,635 -15 -0.6%
Mississippi Valley State University 2,479 2,279 -200 -8.1%
University of Mississippi
University of Mississippi
University of Mississippi Medical Center
University of Southern Mississippi 16,468 15,325 -1,143 -6.9%
System Total 81,022 80,532 -490 -0.6%

“The enrollment figures statewide are similar to the number of students enrolled in 2011,” said Bounds. “The decrease in enrollment numbers at our Delta institutions reflects the population decline in the Delta region. The increase in enrollment at Delta State reflects the increase in the Teach for America program.”

Delta State University hosts the Teach for America program that brings students from across the nation to the campus for classes to prepare them for teaching in schools across the Delta and beyond. Due to the success of the DSU program, the number of TFA students coming to Delta State has doubled since the program’s arrival on campus in 2010.

“Our universities have worked hard to keep costs down and increase efficiencies,” said Bounds. “However, the numbers show that we must do all we can to help our students attain a college degree. The investment made today will provide a tremendous return to the state as these students graduate, enter the workforce and become the innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow.”

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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