CMU Shows Sharp Enrollment Hike
Preliminary numbers are in for fall term enrollment at Central Methodist University, and the news is good - very good. The challenge may be deciding which part of it is the best news, according to CMU President Marianne E. Inman.
After the first week of class, 3,382 students were enrolled at CMU either on campus, off campus, or online. A year ago at this same time, officials were excited to report the University had eclipsed the 3,000 student mark for the first time ever; this year's count reflects a 10.9 percent increase.
"Central Methodist University is pleased to report significant enrollment growth once again this year," Inman said."This demonstration of student demand for CMU's programs surely reflects an appreciation for our outstanding academic quality as well as our focus on personal attention for each student."
The gains may be all the more impressive considering this past year CMU, for the first time in its 158-year history, awarded more than a thousand diplomas. That accomplishment is a double-edged sword: after all, just to maintain enrollment levels, each of those graduates had to be replaced with a new student.
On-campus enrollment clocked in at 1,173, second-most in CMU history and just three students shy of matching the all-time mark set two years ago. A total of 681 are living in CMU residence halls, 4.3 percent more than last year.
As has been the case in recent years at CMU, the greatest growth came by way of the College of Graduate and Extended Studies (CGES). Incorporating off-campus programs, graduate programs, and online students, CGES enrolled 2,209 - an eye-popping 17.7 percent gain from the same time a year ago.
Impressive though those statistics may be, some are pointing to a lesser-known but vitally important category as equally significant:CMU's freshman retention rate. That figure calculates how many CMU freshmen from Fall 2011 returned this fall.
President Inman reports a retention rate of 71.5 percent, nearly 10 percentage points above the Fall 2011 rate, and nearly seven points higher than CMU's three-year average.
"Never in the last 25 years, and probably longer, have we exceeded 69 percent until now," Inman noted. "This extraordinarily fine accomplishment is the result of everyone's efforts to serve our students in the best ways possible."
Still to come before CMU determines its final fall figures are its high school dual enrollment program counts. If those figures hold steady from last fall, total CMU enrollment for the fall semester may exceed last year's all-time record of 5,225 students.
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