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COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Mississippi University for Women saw a stabilized freshman class and growth in graduate programs this fall despite a drop in overall headcount.

In fall 2021, The W retained 75% of the fall 2020 full-time bachelor’s degree seeking, first-time freshmen and graduated or retained 83% of the fall 2020 full-time, bachelor’s degree seeking first-time transfers.

The W’s 8.4% enrollment drop is attributed to a decrease in transfer enrollment, a trend affecting colleges and universities nationally. The unduplicated enrollment for fall 2021 is 2,477.

W President Nora Miller said, “COVID-19 has had an impact on college and university enrollment nationwide with students unsure about on-line vs. in classroom instruction, masking and vaccine protocols and general economic conditions. We are seeing campus come back to life with more activities as transmission levels decline, and we expect enrollment to stabilize and recover going forward.”

Dr. Scott Tollison, provost and vice president for academic affairs, added, “Our strong retention numbers and sustaining such a large portion of our enrollment serves as a testament to the resilience of our faculty, staff and students.”

Recently, U.S. News & World Report named The W No. 4 in Top Public Performers on Social Mobility-Regional Universities South and No. 10 among Top Performers on Social Mobility-Regional Universities South. The university moved up to No. 4 as a Best Value School Value School among Public Regional Universities in the South. For the third consecutive year, The W ranked No. 18 among Top Public-Regional Universities South.

StudentsIn addition to the U.S. News & World Report rankings, The W was the second-highest ranked university in Mississippi on Washington Monthly’s 2021 Best Bang for the Buck: South.

Miller said, “The W is recognized nationally for being a best value and for providing social mobility for our graduates. We have the support structure here to help our students achieve their goals.”

The W continues to lead the state’s public university system with the highest degree completion at 33.4 per 100 undergraduate full-time equivalent students, compared to the IHL system’s overall average of 22.4.

In other student characteristics at The W:

  • 80% are from Mississippi
  • 36% are African-American
  • Average student age is 24.6

Nov. 2, 2021