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Southern Miss Announces Largest Enrollment in University History PDF Print E-mail
Friday, September 11, 2009
Contact Jana Bryant, 601.266.4497   

The University of Southern Mississippi has recorded its largest overall enrollment this fall with 16,668 students, including a second consecutive record freshman class. The university’s campus and teaching sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast also surpassed all previous enrollments with 3,066 students.


The numbers, reported by the Southern Miss Office of Institutional Research, reflect duplicated enrollment that includes 13,562 undergraduates and 3,106 graduates. 


“Record enrollment, increased retention and a record freshman class are wonderful reflections on the quality of our academic programs and instruction,” said President Martha Saunders. “I congratulate our wonderful faculty, staff and recruiters for this most excellent news.”


The number of new, first-time freshmen at Southern Miss is up nearly 6 percent over the 2008 freshman class which was 10 percent larger than the year before, said Southern Miss Vice President for Student Affairs Joe Paul. “We are really beginning to see the fruits of increased recruitment and retention activities over the past couple of years. It’s good to see those efforts are paying off.”


Enrollment numbers on the Gulf Coast increased nearly 10 percent, or 269 students, from 2008. The biggest increase was among undergraduate students at 13.35 percent.


Other 2009 university enrollment highlights include the following:  


-- Overall university graduate enrollment is up 6.6 percent from 2008 likely due to two years of increased promotional efforts and the number of available certificate programs. The number of new graduate students also increased 17 percent from last year.

-- The Office of Residence Life reports a 20-year high in number of students living in on-campus housing. A total 3,264 students moved into residence halls on the Hattiesburg campus.

-- Among this year’s freshman class are 50 Presidential Scholars, 13 of whom are National Merit Scholars with an average ACT score of 29.

-- The incoming freshman class for the Honors College is 160, a record number, as is the overall enrollment of 550.

-- The retention rate for returning freshmen is up by 2 percent to 74 percent this year.

       -- The number of transfer students entering Southern Miss was up slightly this fall with 1,650 students.  


Location 2009 Enrollment 2008 Enrollment
Total all locations (duplicated*) 16,668 16,008
Hattiesburg 13,553 13,102
Gulf Park 2,531 2,241
Stennis 74 71
Gulf Coast Research Lab 164 73
Jackson County 297 412
Meridian 33 71
Other (Study Abroad) 16 38
 *These figures represent duplicated headcount, a number that reflects students by location, so some individual students may be counted twice if they are enrolled in two or more places. Figures released by the IHL are unduplicated numbers. 

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at                
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