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News Release

Sept. 16, 2022

Northwest surpasses 8,000 mark for first time with record enrollment, fifth consecutive year of overall growth


Northwest Missouri State University’s total headcount this fall is 8,505 students, making it the highest enrollment in the institution’s 117-year history, according to the University’s fall census count.

The enrollment number represents an 8.1 percent increase from a year ago and the fifth consecutive fall that Northwest achieved overall growth. The record-breaking headcount is fueled by new institutional highs in graduate enrollment, which increased by 24.7 percent to 3,197 students; international enrollment, which increased by 17.9 percent to 855 students; and dual credit enrollment, which increased by 16.5 percent to 559 students. Additionally, online enrollment at Northwest increased by 18.4 percent to 2,546 students; graduate students represent 82.6 percent of the University’s online headcount.

Northwest also achieved a record retention rate with 79.5 percent of last year’s freshman class choosing to return to the University this fall.

“Northwest has strong academic programs that provide students with profession-based experiences,” Dr. Clarence Green, the University’s interim president, said. “Our championship culture extends to all aspects of Northwest. Our faculty and staff do an exceptional job of meeting our students where they are, and that is highlighted by our record retention rates.” 

Although its overall headcount sets a new high this fall, Northwest recognizes it has work to do. Enrollment of on-ground undergraduate students at its Maryville campus decreased this fall by 6 percent.

“We are excited to reach an all-time high in overall enrollment again this year with growth in many of our student segments,” Dr. Allison Hoffmann, Northwest’s assistant vice president of admissions and student success, said. “Yet, we know there is work to be done related to our renewed focus on increasing on-ground undergraduate enrollment numbers at the Maryville campus. We remain committed to a thriving, comprehensive university experience, and our record retention rate confirms that students selecting Northwest value our strong academic programs, holistic student support, co-curricular experiences and profession-based learning opportunities.”

Northwest first-year students walk the Maryville campus in August prior to the start of the fall semester. (Photo by Abigayle Rush/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest first-year students walk the Maryville campus in August prior to the start of the fall semester. (Photo by Abigayle Rush/Northwest Missouri State University)

Affordable, quality education helps students succeed

Profession-based learning experiences at Northwest - such as a 3D animation critique in the School of Communication and Mass Media - help students prepare for their careers. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Profession-based learning experiences at Northwest - such as a 3D animation critique in the School of Communication and Mass Media - help students prepare for their careers. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest places a high emphasis on profession-based learning to help graduates get a jumpstart on their careers while maintaining competitively low tuition rates and generous financial assistance to help minimize the financial barriers students may face when pursuing a college degree.

By offering students with opportunities to build their résumés through profession-based experiences in nearly every area of study, the University’s placement rates indicate that 98 percent of bachelor’s degree earners and nearly 100 percent of master’s degree secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the University’s most recent data. Northwest’s graduation rate is in the 95th percentile among its peers.

Northwest students receive laptops as part of their tuition as part of the University's laptop and textbook rental program. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest students receive laptops as part of their tuition as part of the University's laptop and textbook rental program. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

In relation to value, Northwest includes textbooks and a laptop in its tuition costs, which is among the lowest in the nation, saving students an estimated $6,800 over four years. The University also offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to earn money while building professional skills through the internationally benchmarked program. 

Eighty-nine percent of first-year students receive an institutional scholarship or grant, which includes the innovative Bearcat Advantage and Northwest Promise programs. The University also offers low-cost housing, and a rate structure for graduate students that is based on market demand and program offerings rather than a traditional residency-based model.

Furthermore, to help students graduate in four years or less and accrue less debt, Northwest’s “Complete 30” initiative encourages students to take a personalized approach to meeting their academic goals and complete 30 credit hours during the course of an academic year.

Results of the 2021 Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory show Northwest students are more satisfied than students at national peers and 80 percent of Northwest students report they would repeat their University experience, compared to 77 percent of students surveyed nationally at their respective institutions.

Other enrollment numbers

Northwest students identifying with underrepresented groups or hailing from countries outside the United States increased by 13.4 percent this fall. (Photo by Abigayle Rush/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest students identifying with underrepresented groups or hailing from countries outside the United States increased by 13.4 percent this fall. (Photo by Abigayle Rush/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest’s fall enrollment of first-time freshmen increased by 13.6 percent to 1,095, and 35 percent of those students identify as first-generation college students. The number of first-time transfers to the University is 309 students, up 1.3 percent from last fall.

Additionally, Northwest reports its student population identifying with underrepresented groups or hailing from countries outside the United States increased by 13.4 percent to 1,840 students; they represent 21.6 percent of the University’s overall enrollment. Northwest’s total domestic minority enrollment is 895 students, who represent another 12 percent of the student body.

Of note, Hispanic students, who number 337, now make up the largest portion of domestic underrepresented students at Northwest. Previously, African American students represented the majority of the University’s domestic underrepresented population.

The University’s international students represent 10 percent of the student body and hail from 36 other countries with most of those students coming from India, Nepal and Nigeria.

“Northwest’s increase in domestic underrepresented enrollment shows our commitment to diversity and inclusion, supporting the academic success of domestic underrepresented students, and making our campus and community a more inclusive place for all students,” Dr. Justin Mallett, Northwest’s assistant vice president of diversity and inclusion, said. Noting the Northwest Foundation’s partnership with the Hispanic Development Fund to support the enrollment of Hispanic students, Mallett added, “The increase in Hispanic students shows Northwest’s ability to look beyond enrollment and become holistic in our ability to serve students from diverse populations.”

While the University’s in-state student population is 5,545, representing an 8.9 percent increase from a year ago, its students hail from a total of 47 states this fall as the institution continues to draw well from Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

At Northwest-Kansas City, where the University offers a range of coursework, 897 students are enrolled and include students in non-degree programs and dual credit coursework.



Contact

Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215
660.562.1704
mhorn@covenhouse.com