- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri will have the smallest class of new students this fall since 2006, according to recent projections that show the loss of new enrollments could be 50 percent or higher than previous predictions.

Interim vice provost for enrollment management, Barbara Rupp, said that as of last week, more than 4,700 students had paid a $300 enrollment deposit, which was refundable through Sunday. That’s a more than 22 percent decline from this year’s total of nearly 6,200 students.

This fall’s enrollment will include about 4,800 new freshmen if the projected pattern holds. The university enrolled just more than that amount in fall 2006.

After earlier projections in February, interim chancellor Hank Foley instructed campus divisions to cut their budgets by 5 percent, including a hiring and wages freeze. At that time, Rupp had projected that the loss of new freshman would be 900 and overall campus loss would be about 1,500.

This year’s total enrollment is nearly 35,500.

University spokesman Christian Basi said the total decline from this year is difficult to gage with the potential loss of new freshman now at more than 1,400.

This year’s totally freshman class of 7,600 includes students who are in their second year who did not have 30 credit hours when the fall semester began as well as students who transferred with credit.

“A lot of this is asking us to speculate right now,” he said. “We are focused on working toward retention rates to make sure students are successful here.”

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