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Delta State sees enrollment increase, highest freshman retention rate in over 20 years

As Delta State battles financial and student population issues, the university is reporting its best fall enrollment in over two decades.

On Thursday, Delta State officials announced that overall enrollment in Cleveland has grown by 6.3 percent over the last year to a total number of 2,716 students. Freshman retention has also hit the highest rate in over 20 years as 73.6 percent of full-time freshmen from the fall of 2022 returned for another year.

“These record numbers show that more students are choosing to enroll at Delta State, as well as to remain at Delta State after their first year,” Delta State President Dr. Dan Ennis said. “I am optimistic about Delta State’s future, and these numbers prove that we fill an important role in Mississippi higher education. We will continue to recruit aggressively to ensure that these trends continue.”

The Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) released statistics last week showing an overall rise in enrollment across the state, with Ole Miss and Mississippi State bringing in record-breaking freshman classes for the fall semester.

Mississippi public colleges and universities are currently reporting a combined 77,074 students for the fall of 2023, compared to 75,739 that were enrolled at the same time last year. According to IHL officials, Delta State’s growth rate was the third-highest across the board.

“There are good things Delta State can and will do to increase our appeal to students,” Ennis added. “Our focus on personal attention, faculty and staff who care about the whole student, graduates who are sought after because of Delta State’s reputation in the classroom, a campus filled with excitement and activity, and a university that is committed to this community and region – these essentials won’t change.”

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