Enrollment in Mississippi’s public universities and community colleges down

By Aaron Rice
September 17, 2018

Preliminary data shows that overall enrollment in Mississippi’s eight public universities and 15 community and junior colleges is down over the previous year.

Enrollment for the fall of 2018 stands at 80,592, compared to 81,378 last year.

Among Mississippi’s eight public universities, enrollment is up at Alcorn State, Mississippi State, Mississippi Valley State, and Southern Mississippi. Enrollment is down at the other four universities: Delta State, Jackson State, Mississippi University for Women, and Ole Miss.

Southern Miss enjoyed the largest growth, from 14,478 students to 14,743, an increase of 1.8 percent. Their freshman class grew from 1,903 students last year to 2,115 this year. Mississippi State grew by 1.5 percent, from 21,883 students to 22,201. State’s freshman class grew from 3,438 students to 3,599.

Ole Miss, including enrollment at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, has the largest enrollment in the state at 23,258. That is down 2.2 percent from last year when the system enrolled 23,780 students. This is the second consecutive year of a decline. Last year’s enrollment was down 1.9 percent. The freshman class at Ole Miss is down 6.5 percent, from 3,697 students to 3,455.

The biggest drop, however, was at Jackson State. Enrollment is down to 7,709 from 8,558 last year. This represents at 9.9 percent decrease.

Total student enrollment, Fall 2017 compared to Fall 2018

Institution 2017 2018 Number change % change
Alcorn State 3,716 3,753 37 1%
Delta State 3,789 3,784 -5 -0.1%
Jackson State 8,558 7,709 -849 -9.9%
MSU 21,883 22,201 318 1.5%
MUW 2,789 2,738 -51 -1.8%
MVSU 2,385 2,406 21 0.9%
Ole Miss 23,780 23,258 -522 -2.2%
Southern 14,478 14,743 265 1.8%
Totals 81,378 80,592 -786 -1%


Enrollment among Mississippi’s 15 junior and community colleges fell to 72,255, a decline of 0.8 percent from the previous year. Pearl River (2.6 percent), Southwest Mississippi (2.9 percent), Northeast Mississippi (2.9 percent), and Mississippi Delta (3.2 percent) were the largest gainers.

Coahoma (-5.2 percent), Northwest Mississippi (-5.8 percent), and Meridian (-6.3 percent) had the biggest drop percentage wise. Hinds, whose enrollment was flat, remains the largest school in the community college system at 11,833 students.


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