Ole Miss enrollment continues to decline

By Aaron Rice
November 9, 2020

Enrollment at Ole Miss is down for the fourth year in a row according to new data from the Institutions of Higher Learning. 

Ole Miss had an enrollment of 18,668 for the fall of 2020, compared to 19,421 last year. This represents a drop of 3.9 percent. When the University of Mississippi Medical Center enrollment is included, total enrollment for the University of Mississippi system increases to 21,676, but that is still down 2.7 percent from last year. 

Total enrollment for Mississippi’s eight public universities is 77,154, down from 77,894 a year ago. That represents a continued trend more than a newfound fear because of a virus, indicating that families aren’t particularly worried about sending their children to college. From 2018 to 2019, enrollment dropped by about 1.5 percent. 

Enrollment is up at two universities in the state. Mississippi State saw an increase of 3.4 percent to 22,986. (Mississippi State is now larger than the total University of Mississippi enrollment.) The University of South Mississippi saw an increase of 3.3 percent to 14,606. 

The five other public universities each experienced declines, some more dramatic than others. Delta State lost more than 20 percent of its students, a decline of more than 700 on the campus that now has fewer than 3,000 students and is no longer the fifth largest university in the state.

UniversityFall 2019 enrollmentFall 2020 enrollmentNumber changePercent change
Alcorn State3,5233,230-293-8.3%
Delta State3,7612,999-762-20.3%
Jackson State7,0206,921-99-1.4%
Miss. State22,22622,9867603.4%
Ole Miss*22,27321,676-597-2.7%
Southern Miss14,13314,6064733.3%

* Includes both the University of Mississippi and UMMC. 

Mississippi Valley State University remains the smallest university in the state at 2,032 students after seeing enrollment decline by 5.4 percent this year. 


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