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University of Missouri

Record-breaking Freshman Class

Freshman class breaks records for quantity and quality.

Ashley Dorr Mizzou

In spring 2014, Maggie Dorr was No. 1 in her class at Villa Duchesne high school in St. Louis. Now she is part of Mizzou’s record-breaking freshman class. Photo by Nicholas Benner.

As a senior at Villa Duchesne high school in St. Louis, Maggie Dorr could boast a 34 ACT score, 30 hours of advance placement course work and a No. 1 rank in her class. She was the sort of student that Harvard, Stanford and Yale have on their radar. But in fall 2014, she landed at Mizzou.

Family ties were a big draw. Father Daniel Dorr, BA ’81, and older sisters (Allison, BJ ’13; Katie, a junior journalism major) filled her in on Mizzou’s appeal. To boot, the freshman business major saw academic opportunities at Mizzou that she didn’t find at other schools. Vanderbilt, she says, does not offer a business major for undergraduates, and Mizzou’s Cornell Scholars program offers leadership experiences starting freshman year.

Dorr, a Mizzou Alumni Association Legacy Scholar, represents a couple of happy trends in the fall 2014 class, which rings in at a record-breaking 6,515. The number of first-time freshmen declaring a major in business is up 290 over the last year, the largest increase of all programs. And the largest increase in ACT scores comes at the highest level, 30 and above, enough to raise the average of the whole class.

Although applications from Missouri residents declined by 132 from 2013, due partly to the decrease in high school graduates, 155 more Missouri students took the plunge and came to Mizzou than were part of the freshman class last year. The number of applications from nonresidents has increased by 1,424 since 2012, and this year’s numbers of students are up for Illinois (29) and Texas (32). About 39 percent of the record class reside outside Missouri.