Mississippi State University‚Äôs enrollment rose by more than 1,000 students this fall over last, preliminary numbers released Thursday by state higher education officials showed.
MSU has 19,644 students currently, rising 1,043 ‚Äď 5.6 percent ‚Äď over fall 2009‚Äôs 18,601 figure.
Other universities experienced an uptick, resulting in a systemwide increase of about 4.1 percent, or just over 3,000 students, compared to last year.
There are 76,736 students enrolled in the state‚Äôs schools this year. Systemwide enrollment has climbed annually since 1994, officials said in a statement.
‚ÄúThe trend lines indicate that more individuals are seeking to enhance their lives through increased post-secondary educational attainment,‚ÄĚ said Dr. Hank M. Bounds, Commissioner of Higher Education, in the statement.
Bounds said officials must find ways to support retention and graduation rates to move the state forward.
The university in the system showing the greatest increase was Alcorn State University at 10.4 percent, followed by Delta State University at 7.3 percent, University of Mississippi at 7.1 percent, MSU, Mississippi University for Women at 4.7 percent and the University of Southern Mississippi at 3.2 percent.
Not all of Mississippi‚Äôs eight public universities experienced an enrollment increase this fall.
Preliminary figures from the state College Board show Mississippi Valley State University‚Äôs enrollment declined 12.6 percent and Jackson State University‚Äôs numbers are down 1.1 percent.