November 19, 2019 10:13:14 AM
OXFORD -- Enrollment is down at the University of Mississippi for the third straight year.
The Oxford Eagle reports that 2019 enrollment numbers for all six Ole Miss campuses show a 3.5 percent decrease from 2018. That's the highest percentage drop over the last three years.
Numbers released by the Institutions of Higher Learning show the system now has 22,273 students, which is a decline of 817 people from last year.
"We recognize that it is a challenging environment to recruit students because of declining numbers of college and university students nationally, and we are addressing this challenge through additional investments in technology, marketing and recruiting," Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce said.
Most Ole Miss students -- 58.3 percent -- are Mississippi residents.
"We are proud to offer an unsurpassed learning environment and life-changing student experiences," Boyce added.
This year's first-year retention rate was 86.8 percent -- a historical high for the Oxford campus, the newspaper reported.
Statistics show enrollment at rival Mississippi State University rose slightly, increasing by 1.1 percent to 22,226 students.
Enrollment is down overall at Mississippi's eight public universities, declining 1.6 percent from last year to a total of 29,193 students.