Freshmen Enrollment increases by 22 percent since 2016

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Maybe it’s the annual Chiefs training camp or maybe it’s just the beautiful campus, but whatever it is, it’s got freshmen enrollment numbers way up and more students intrigued about coming to Missouri Western.

Over the previous two years Western has seen an astonishing 22 percent increase in its freshmen enrollment. An increase that Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Retention Dr. Paul Orscheln called a “pretty significant number.”

The numbers are indeed pretty significant because since 2016 when MWSU had 854 incoming enrolled freshmen the number leaped to 991 in 2017, and then sky rocketed to 1,049 students for the present year. Orscheln also went on to give his input on why he believes freshmen enrollment is through the roof.

“When I arrived here in 2016 we revamped the way we recruited students here. We got more aggressive in our approach by reaching out to thousands upon thousands of students, not only from the state of Missouri, but also to boarding states and beyond,” Orscheln said. “We also put a big emphasize on not only reaching out, but staying in contact and communicating more with potential students; strengthening that connection is key.”

This revamped approach to the recruitment of potential students has proven to be a success and has not only grabbed the attention of incoming students, but their parents as well says Director of Financial Aid Marilyn Baker.

“There was a big increase in the number of parents at the latest Griffon Orientation this summer, and I can not remember the last time so many parents showed up to orientation,” Baker said.

So, what exactly intrigues potential students to the university?

While Western has hosted the Kansas City Chiefs training camp for the past nine years and has seen a noticeable increase in popularity of the campus because of it, Orscheln still credits campus visits along with the staff, faculty and the student body for the freshmen enrollment spike.

“Another big thing over the past couple years that we have pushed are campus visits, so getting high school seniors to come to campus and check us out, and over two years we’ve increased our campus visits by over 40 percent,” Orscheln said. “Those campus visits are a campus university-wide effort because everyone is involved in interacting with those potential students, our great faculty and, obviously, our students get to connect with our perspective students, and I think that’s really helpful.”