MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University’s fall 2019 enrollment indicates several positive trends, including significant increases in multiple student classifications as well as an increase in overall enrollment at the institution.
Based on University data, this year’s entering freshman class of 1,421 students indicates a significant increase of 7.7% from the fall 2018 freshman class. By comparison, the fall 2018 freshman class was down nearly 9% from the previous year.
Representing 24 states and 75 Kentucky counties, this year’s freshman class reflects an increase from the previous fall’s class in average ACT score, high school GPA and percentage of valedictorians. The University saw a 3% increase in freshmen from Kentucky, a 24% increase in freshmen from Tennessee and a 26% increase in freshmen from Illinois.
The number of new graduate students and new transfer students also reflect major increases from the previous fall of 12.2% and 10.8%, respectively. The number of new international students reflected an increase from the previous fall as well.
The University’s Honors College, which provides a rigorous academic experience for top-achieving students, continues to show record-setting growth. Freshmen participating in the Honors College this fall increased by 12.8% from the previous year, and overall enrollment in the Honors College reflects a 6% increase from last fall.
Total headcount as of fall 2019 census day at Murray State is 9,569 students, a 1.1% increase from last fall. The student body represents 50 countries, 45 states and 112 Kentucky counties.
“We are very pleased by these fall 2019 enrollment numbers in several important categories — including an increase in overall enrollment — as this is our first overall increase in several categories in four years,” said Murray State President Dr. Bob Jackson. “More students are choosing Murray State to discover opportunities to foster personal growth and professional success through a high-quality and best-value college experience. Throughout their journey, Racers will receive support from dedicated faculty and staff who are relentlessly committed to student success.”
Murray State continues to reinforce its “high quality, high impact, best value” promise that has been recently recognized by multiple national publications. Earlier this year, the University was named a “Best Bang for the Buck” by Washington Monthly, one of “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes for the 12th straight year and a “Top-Tier University” by U.S. News & World Report for the 29th consecutive year.
“The focus and collaborative nature of multiple areas across the University, all working together to assist both prospective and current students, along with their families, has been a driving force in the enrollment growth we are experiencing,” said Murray State Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Don Robertson. “Students have many choices in determining their future. Incoming students at Murray State will encounter supportive faculty and staff, as well as current students, who are all here to assist them and make their Murray State experience the best it can be.”
The University’s continued positive momentum follows several recent exciting announcements and initiatives. Enhancements to campus include the addition of nationally-recognized dining chains such as Einstein Bros. Bagels and Chick-fil-A, which opened earlier this fall. Newly-opened centers to advance the University’s mission in offering innovative academic programs for students while serving the region and beyond include the Centers for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Economic and Entrepreneurial Development, Agricultural Hemp and Computer and Information Technology.
“In offering more than 140 academic programs, students at Murray State are receiving a world-class education with opportunities to pursue faculty-mentored research, secure valuable internships and apply classroom knowledge through a life-defining experience of studying abroad,” said Dr. Tim Todd, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Murray State is committed to academic excellence and we are grateful to our talented faculty and staff. Students who can dream it can find it here at Murray State.”
The University continues to experience an increase in student retention and progression towards graduation, as last fall’s retention rate for first-time, full-time students seeking a bachelor’s degree (students who began in fall 2018 and returned this fall) was 79.3%, expected to be the highest among regional public institutions in the state of Kentucky.
The city of Murray, home of Murray State, was also recently named one of the nation’s top 50 safest college towns according to findings from SafeWise, a safety-focused consumer research firm. Murray was the only Kentucky city in the top 50 and was one of five towns within a multi-state region comprised of Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“Our best days remain in front of us at Murray State as we continue to maintain our focus on teaching and learning — all with the goal of providing our students with the absolute best in their college experience,” Jackson said.
Students interested in joining the Racer family for the fall 2020 semester can learn more, schedule a campus visit and apply today at admissions.murraystate.edu.