September 21, 2018  

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The University of Southern Mississippi Shatters Freshman Enrollment Record; Total Enrollment Grows 1.8 Percent, Top in Mississippi

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The University of Southern Mississippi's enrollment figures for fall 2018 reflect a record number of first-year, full-time freshman students.

The Class of 2022 at The University of Southern Mississippi is already making their mark, and with it the promise of a bright future for themselves and the institution.

For the first time in University history, more than 2,000 first-time, full-time freshmen have enrolled at USM. This year’s 2,115 freshmen are 11 percent more than the 1,903 new freshmen who enrolled in Fall 2017. The 2018 freshman total also represents a 35 percent increase over the 2016 mark of 1,558.

The record number of freshmen contributed to a preliminary total enrollment of 14,743 in Fall 2018, an increase of 1.8 percent over the Fall 2017 mark of 14,478. The percentage growth was the most in Mississippi, and the Fall 2018 total enrollment figure is the most at the institution since 2014.

“I am so pleased that more students are choosing to attend The University of Southern Mississippi,” said University President Rodney D. Bennett. “More importantly, I am proud that we have built a strong foundation by increasing the quality of our student body, and we are now growing enrollment while maintaining academic quality.”

The academic credentials and size of recent freshman classes have the institution on a path toward greater academic success, according to Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven R. Moser.

“This fall, we are proud to welcome the largest freshman class in the history of The University of Southern Mississippi, along with higher overall enrollment at the institution,” Moser said.
“The exciting growth we are seeing in new students is the result of intentional strategic planning and innovative recruitment efforts, and we are well-positioned for continued growth and success. Our unique offerings appeal to students within Mississippi, across the country and around the world, which is evident through our diverse campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach and expanding online programs.”

Among the highlights of USM’s Fall 2018 enrollment are

  • The average GPA for new freshmen is 3.37, up from 3.29 in Fall 2017.
  • Almost 12 percent of all new freshmen earned a 4.0 core GPA.
  • Almost 10 percent of all new freshmen scored 30 or above on the ACT.
  • The number of new freshmen from Mississippi increased over Fall 2017 by more than 100.
  • The number of new freshmen from out-of-state increased over Fall 2017.
  • The average ACT score for new Honors College students is above 30.

“We continue to be pleased with the trajectory of our University enrollment and have honored our commitment to our Mississippi residents while also growing our non-resident student population,” said Kate Howard, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Services and Dean of Admissions. “The 35 percent growth over two years speaks to the yeoman’s work of our enrollment team and an extraordinary educational product here at Southern Miss.”