WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The numbers are in, and before classes at Midwestern State University began the Fall 2019 semester, a larger number of first-time, full-time students were projected than last year’s record-breaking class.
The projection was not reached as last year still takes the cake for the largest freshmen class. However, more students are sticking around.
MSU freshmen enrollment numbers are down by 30, but it’s Alyssa Dimmick’s junior year and one of the reasons she chose to be a Mustang is because of the size of the campus.
“It’s important for us to keep in mind that we still wanna keep that same private school feel at the public school cost,” MSU tour guide and orientation leader Alyssa Dimmick said.
Dimmick comes to Wichita Falls from the DFW Metroplex, and she said she sees the value in a larger student body.
“Even just with the new addition of the health science building, without the addition of students, we wouldn’t have been able to make that possible, we wouldn’t have a need for that,” Dimmick said.
Even with enrollment slightly down, it’s estimated about 3% more freshmen are sticking around for their sophomore years.
“There’s kind of a thing in the business, it’s less expensive to keep students here than it is to recruit new students, so that really is a focus of ours,” MSU VP for Enrollment Management Fred Dietz said.
Recruiting happens here in town, but for MSU to grow as college officials would like, it takes looking outside, too.
“Our market is not growing, so students graduating from high school in our region, the population isn’t increasing, it’s pretty flat,” Dietz said.
Dietz said along with high graduation rates, the decrease in enrollment has something to do with the lack of transfers though Dimmick said students outside the Texoma area are important to the campus culture.
“You wanna have outside minds and outside thoughts who have seen different things, who have experienced different locations and have different mindsets come to one place so that way all those ideas and thoughts can congregate together,” Dimmick said.
This semester, 5,969 students walk the campus of MSU and with retention rates up, the university may see an increase in the coming years.