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Students participate in an immunology lab this spring at Northwest, where enrollment has reached a new high for a spring semester. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)
Feb. 16, 2022
Coming off a fall semester during which Northwest Missouri State University recorded its highest-ever enrollment, the University also is reporting the highest spring enrollment in its history.
The University’s spring census shows overall enrollment increased by 5 percent from a year ago to a headcount of 7,218. In the undergraduate sector, first-time freshman enrollment is up 28.6 percent, and the number of first-time transfer students is up by 27.8 percent.
Additionally, the University’s graduate student enrollment increased by 27.7 percent to 2,602 students, breaking an institutional record set last spring.
Further, Northwest recorded an overall fall-to-spring retention rate of 91.6 percent, setting a new institutional high for that mark. The University’s fall-to-spring retention of first-time, full-time freshmen increased from 89.8 percent to 92.1 percent, which is Northwest’s second-highest in that category behind a 92.4 retention rate in spring 2018.
“These numbers are a credit to our teams and the outstanding work all of us do every day to recruit, retain and help our students persist toward the completion of their degrees,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Northwest continues to uplift the communities it serves, and we are proud to carry out our mission focused on student success, serve as a steward of place and ultimately help exemplify what it means to be a Bearcat.”
Results of a student satisfaction survey show 82 percent of Northwest students report they would repeat their Northwest experience, compared to 75 percent of students surveyed nationally at their respective institutions. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)
The spring semester enrollment counts follow a semester during which Northwest reported an overall headcount of 7,870 students at its fall census, making that total the highest overall enrollment in the institution’s 116-year history. When factoring students enrolled in Online Professional courses, which offer multiple starts each semester, Northwest enrollment continues to grow post-census and the University ended the fall 2021 semester with an all-time record enrollment of 8,022.
Traditionally, spring enrollment totals are lower than those recorded during the fall semester. 
This spring, Northwest reports 838 students, or 12 percent of the student population, identify with underrepresented groups or hail from countries outside the United States. The University’s enrollment of international students increased to 733, and they represent about 10 percent of Northwest’s student body. They represent 39 countries with most of those students coming from India, Nigeria and Nepal.
The University’s in-state student population this spring is 4,529 students as Northwest’s domestic students hail from a total of 38 states and the institution continues to draw well from Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.
Away from Northwest’s main campus in Maryville, the number of students enrolled in online-only programs increased by 23.2 percent from a year ago to 2,225 students. At Northwest-Kansas City, where the University offers a range of coursework, including dual credit offerings and degree completion programs, 313 students are enrolled.
Profession-based opportunities and activities, such as Speed Networking (above), help Northwest students interact with employers and secure employment at levels that exceed the University’s peers. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)
Illustrating its quality, Northwest’s placement rates indicate that 96 percent of bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data. Zippia, a career website, names Northwest the best college in Missouri for getting a job.
Additionally, results of the 2019-2020 Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory show Northwest students enjoy higher satisfaction than national and regional peers on all scales. In fact, 82 percent of all Northwest students report they would repeat their Northwest experience, compared to 75 percent of students surveyed nationally at their respective institutions.
Northwest places a high emphasis on profession-based learning to help graduates get a jumpstart on their careers. Students have opportunities to build their résumés with experiences on campus in nearly every area of study, including the Horace Mann Laboratory SchoolNational Public Radio affiliate KXCV, the R.T. Wright Farm, Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area or Knacktive, a student-driven integrated digital marketing communications agency.
In relation to value, Northwest includes textbooks and a laptop in its tuition costs, which is among the lowest in the nation, saving students an estimated $6,800 over four years. Northwest also offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to earn money while building professional skills through the internationally benchmarked program. 
Ninety-six percent of first-time, full-time freshmen receive some form of financial aid, which includes Northwest’s innovative Bearcat Advantage and American Dream Grant programs. The University also offers low-cost housing and a rate structure for graduate students that is based on market demand and program offerings rather than a traditional model based on residency.
To help students graduate in four years or less and accrue less debt, Northwest’s “Complete 30” initiative encourages students to take a personalized approach to meeting their academic goals and complete 30 credit hours during the course of an academic year. To assist students with meeting that goal, Northwest reduced the number of credits needed to earn a bachelor’s degree from 124 to 120.
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