MTSU tops fall enrollment among TBR schools despit...

MTSU tops fall enrollment among TBR schools despite challenges

Middle Tennessee State University remains the largest institution in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, despite a decline in enrollment from last year, figures released Sept. 12 show.

MTSU also welcomed TBR’s largest class of freshmen and transfer students for the 2014 fall semester and set a new record for international enrollment.

In addition, the class of 2018 had an average ACT of 22.3, a slight increase over the record mark of 22 put forward by last year’s freshmen.

MTSU’s fall 2014 head count is 22,729, which includes 20,262 undergraduates and 2,467 graduate students. The university’s enrollment is down 4.82 percent over last year.

The university welcomed 2,932 freshmen and 1,809 transfer students this fall. Also, MTSU has 768 international students — a 20 percent increase over last year and 33 percent over three years.

“MTSU, like many other institutions, is grappling with several enrollment challenges, including rising tuition costs and a declining population of high school seniors in Tennessee,” said Deb Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services.

“Nevertheless, in a marketplace where students have ever-increasing options, we are pleased that the majority of students in the TBR system chose MTSU for their higher education,” she said.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Debra Sells

Dr. Debra Sells

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee pointed to the university’s Quest for Student Success initiative, which fully deployed this fall, as a way to improve student retention and graduation rates.

“I want our university to focus not only on bringing in new students, but also keeping and graduating those who have invested with us,” McPhee said. “These efforts underway this fall will have a direct impact upon our future enrollment.”

McPhee also said MTSU will be announcing other new initiatives shortly that will reinforce the Student Success push and help with recruitment of high school seniors and transfers. McPhee and other top university leaders are again hitting the road beginning this week for the six-city True Blue Tour to recruit top prospective students across the state.

Earlier this year, MTSU announced that it will guarantee five of its major scholarships next fall to prospective students who meet the application requirements and deadlines.

And the university’s Transfer Academic Scholarships have switched from competitive-based to guaranteed next fall for qualifying students transferring from any of the state’s community colleges.

McPhee said he was pleased about the significant increase in MTSU’s international population, which reflects the strategic priority placed upon outreach to those students.

“We anticipate to see these numbers grow even further as our most recent efforts in China and elsewhere come to fruition,” he said.

For more information on MTSU’s student success efforts, visit

The Tennessee Board of Regents system consists of 46 institutions with a combined annual enrollment of over 200,000 students, making it among the nation’s largest systems of public higher education. The TBR’s six state universities, 13 community colleges, and 27 colleges of applied technology offer classes in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

— Andrew Oppmann (

Employee account created by LAM on 5/8/12 (PZRNFAC report)