The University of Missouri System is seeing an increase in freshman applications at three campuses this fall compared to last year, according to system officials.
Mun Choi, the system's president, announced Thursday that freshman applications grew by nearly 6 percent at the Columbia campus, from 17,864 in fall 2018 to 18,878 in 2019. Choi said the university's freshman deposits have increased by 37 percent from last year, the Columbia Missourian reported.
"That's the result of us changing how we did some of admissions and how we contacted people earlier," said MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright. "So it's all of those little things that add up to make a big difference."
Cartwright credits the increase in part to the university's admission office responding to applications 48 hours after being submitted. Cartwright also pointed to the office including scholarship and student aid information in admissions to encourage students to seek financial support early.
Choi reported hikes in freshman applications of nearly 14 percent at the Rolla campus and 1 percent in St. Louis. Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla saw freshman application numbers grow from 4,019 in 2018 to 4,654 in 2019. Meanwhile, the University of Missouri in St. Louis tallied 2,968 freshman applications this fall, up from 2,932 in 2018.
The Kansas City campus saw a 7 percent drop in applications, from 5,832 in 2018 to 4,989 in 2019.
The University of Missouri had experienced a steep drop in freshman application and enrollment numbers in 2016, right after protests and the resignation of administrators which many viewed as the culmination of years of racial tension at the Columbia campus.
Last year was the first time in several years that application numbers had begun to rise.
"I want to caution everyone that those numbers are going to experience some melt through the months ahead," Choi said of the recently announced figures. "But, we're in a very good spot."