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Mississippi sees increase in public university enrollment

Ole Miss sign
Photo courtesy of the University of Mississippi

Mississippi’s public universities saw an increase in fall enrollment in 2023 compared to numbers from the same period last year.

Fall enrollment for 2023 is 77,074 students, a 1.8 percent increase, partially due to record-breaking freshman classes at Ole Miss and Mississippi State. In 2022, enrollment stood at 75,739 for the fall semester.

“Our students recognize that a university education continues to be a good investment for their future,” Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education, said. “In these challenging economic times, it is encouraging to see more students pursuing an education that will pay dividends throughout their careers and build a strong workforce to fuel our economy.”

Ole Miss welcomed more than 5,000 students at its late August convocation, marking the largest-ever incoming class in the school’s history.

“It is an incredibly momentous time at the university, especially as more and more students are choosing Ole Miss to build their personal legacies,” Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce said. “This fall’s record-high enrollment is a testament to all we have to offer students and families, including an outstanding value, academic excellence, and strong student support programs.”

According to MSU vice president of strategic communications Sid Salter, the incoming freshman class in Starkville was just over 3,700 students — an MSU record.

“More than ever, students and their families are choosing Mississippi State University to earn a degree and prepare for the future while also being part of a truly special and unique college experience,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said.

“We are well known as a friendly and welcoming campus where students can excel in the classroom, grow through hands-on research and service opportunities, and develop lifelong relationships. They can also enjoy all that our vibrant and growing community has to offer.”

Mississippi Valley State and Delta State also saw an influx in enrollment, bringing the numbers up for public universities in the Magnolia State.

Total Student Enrollment, Fall 2022 and Fall 2023
Institution Fall 2022 Fall 2023 Number Change Percent Change
Alcorn State University 2,933 2,894 -39 -1.3%
Delta State University 2,556 2,716 160 6.3%
Jackson State University 6,906 6,564 -342 -5.0%
Mississippi State University 22,649 22,657 8 0.0%
Mississippi University for Women 2,339 2,227 -112 -4.8%
Mississippi Valley State University 1,879 2,196 317 16.9%
University of Mississippi 22,951 24,710 1759 7.7%
University of Mississippi 19,869 21,596 1727 8.7%
University of Mississippi Medical Center 3,082 3,114 32 1.0%
University of Southern Mississippi 13,526 13,110 -416 -3.1%
System Total: 75,739 77,074 1335 1.8%

Figures are unduplicated and count students one time regardless of on-campus and off-campus enrollment. Figures are based on enrollment as of November 1 for the fall term.

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