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Released January 22, 2003

SOUTHERN MISS SPRING ENROLLMENT RISES

HATTIESBURG – Spring enrollment is up by 124 students at The University of Southern Mississippi in comparison with a year ago, including a healthy increase of students attending classes on the Gulf Coast campuses.

"Our enrollment growth confirms that students continue to be attracted to the quality and diversity of our outstanding academic programs at Southern Miss, as well as to the many available opportunities that promote quality of life outside the classroom," said university President Shelby Thames.

The 2003 spring enrollment for all campuses is 14,121 – an increase of 124 students over the enrollment of 13,997 recorded for the spring semester last year, according to final figures released Wednesday by Dr. Homer "Bucky" Wesley, associate vice president for student affairs and admissions.

The latest enrollment includes 12,331 students on the Hattiesburg compared to 12,275 a year ago – representing an increase of less than one-half of 1 percent. The rise in enrollment on the Gulf Coast campuses from 1,723 last year to 1,790 this year, however, represents a student increase of nearly 4 percent.

"Enrollment gains at our Gulf Coast campuses reflect the strength of our offerings there and reaffirm our commitment to meet the educational needs of residents in that burgeoning area of the state," said Thames.

With a new academic structure soon to be implemented at Southern Miss, university officials said students should begin finding enrollment procedures and student services easier to access within their respective new colleges. They predicted the changes will have a positive effect on future enrollment figures.

Southern Miss posted a third straight record enrollment of 15,267 last fall – including 13,485 on the Hattiesburg and 1,774 on the Gulf Coast. Spring enrollment at most colleges and universities traditionally drops off somewhat from fall to spring as a result of normal attrition.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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