The following is a press release from The University of Southern Mississippi:
HATTIESBURG/LONG BEACH, Miss. – For the third consecutive year, The University of Southern Mississippi has experienced a record enrollment of freshmen students plus a record number of total students enrolled.
"This is very good news and a credit to the steadfast work of our faculty and staff," said Southern Miss President Martha Saunders. "For us to have another record enrollment and another record freshman class in the face of the challenges in our region related to the BP oil spill and a bad economy tells me we are doing a lot of things right."
This increase for new Southern Miss freshmen contributes to the overall, duplicated enrollment record of 17,254 students. This is a 3.57 percent increase from the same time last year. These numbers, compiled by the Southern Miss Office of Institutional Research, reflect a duplicated enrollment that includes 14,096 undergraduates and 3,158 graduate students.
Equally as impressive is the freshman to sophomore retention, an emphasis of the Saunders administration, which is up 2.8 percent. This translates to 76.8 percent of new freshmen from last Fall returning as sophomores this Fall.
"Students and their families continue to show confidence in, and respect for, the educational opportunities offered at Southern Miss," said Dr. Joe Paul, vice president of Student Affairs. "In addition to the 20 percent increase of new freshmen over the past three years, we also have a 5 percent increase in transfer students this fall."
The record freshman enrollment has also produced a record 3,288 students living in on-campus housing on the Hattiesburg campus. The Office of Residence Life reports this is the largest number of students living in residence halls in more than 20 years.
Southern Miss also saw an increase in its Gulf Coast enrollments with a total of 3,166 students spread across its six coastal teaching sites.
"Despite these difficult economic times and the disruption from the oil spill, we are delighted for our Gulf Coast enrollment to be up 3.3 percent," said Dr. Frances Lucas, vice president and campus executive officer for Southern Miss Gulf Coast. "I commend our dedicated students for their desire to advance their lives through education."
The complete Southern Miss Fall 2010 duplicated enrollment figures are: