MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University’s fall 2017 preliminary enrollment data indicates several continued positive trends, including another academically strong freshman class with a higher average ACT score and number of valedictorians from last fall’s class, along with a higher overall institutional retention rate.
This year’s first-time freshman class of 1,443 students holds an average ACT score of 24.2, an increase from last year’s freshman class and a full one-point increase from the fall 2015 class. Freshman valedictorians also comprise 6.2 percent of this year’s class, compared to 4.9 percent for the fall 2016 class. Further, the percentage of first-time freshmen who ranked within the top 25 percent of their high school classes increased from 48.1 percent in 2016 to 51.9 percent in 2017.
The University’s Honors College, which transitioned from an Honors program to a college in 2015 and provides a rigorous academic experience for top-achieving students, continues to show record-setting growth. Freshmen participating in the Honors College this fall increased by 13 percent from the previous year.
An increased number of first-time freshmen are also arriving on campus having completed dual credit courses that are applied toward their required credits for graduation. This includes a total of 964 students, which represents 67 percent of the fall freshman class.
Overall, Murray State students are continuing to succeed and progress throughout their academic careers as demonstrated by the University’s retention rate having increased to nearly 75 percent.
In 2016, the University implemented new admissions standards and a revised tuition and scholarship model to reward high-achieving students. Most recently, the University introduced a Deans Scholarship for freshmen beginning in 2018 to add to the multiple scholarship offerings at Murray State.
Total headcount as of fall 2017 census day was 10,017 students enrolled at Murray State. While this reflects a 2.8 percent decline from fall 2016 undergraduate enrollment and a 4.6 percent decline from fall 2016 total enrollment, the University has recently experienced several of the largest graduating classes in recent years.
“Evidence of academic excellence is prevalent throughout with this fall’s institutional enrollment data,” said President Bob Davies. “Overall, but particularly with our recent freshman classes, we continue to see an increase in the quality of student who is choosing Murray State University to achieve their dreams and goals. Students at Murray State truly flourish in an environment of academic excellence and are afforded real-life learning opportunities in a supportive, student-centered learning environment. Upon graduation, they will serve as impactful members of our society as leaders, innovators and ambassadors of our fine institution.”