Mississippi College prepares for influx of students because of Leland Speed Scholarship

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 7:13 PM CDT
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CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you were offered full tuition through a scholarship to attend a university, you’d probably apply in a heartbeat. That’s exactly what’s happening at Mississippi College.

Mississippi College announced last fall that incoming students could attend the school absolutely free. Since then, many high school seniors and transfer students are getting online and taking them up on that offer.

“Normal applications are around 2,500 every cycle. We’re up about 1,000 applications of the year. We’re at about 3,600, as opposed to 2,500,” Dean of Enrollment Management Michael Wright explained.

The Leland Speed Scholarship will provide full tuition to those from Mississippi who will live on campus for the next four years. As a result, some major changes are being made to accommodate the influx.

“Have to deal with living conditions, right. So making sure we have the dorms for all of our students. Currently, we’re around 1,350, and we’re estimated to be much more than that,” Associate Vice President for the Student Experience & Dean of Students, Johnathan Ambrose, said.

“There are two dorms, two residence halls that have been offline the last few years. There’s a renovation project happening right now to get those residence halls ready for students. So that’ll add a bunch of beds that were not here this last few cycles,” Wright said.

In addition to updating residence halls, campus dining facilities, student life events, and more are being checked to make sure they can withstand 1,000 additional students.

“When you’re increasing the amount of students living on campus, you also have to think about dining and the overall experience of our students as it relates to programming and weekend events,” Ambrose explained.

But what about class sizes? Administrators say small class sizes are what often draw students to the campus. Ambrose and Wright say staff is working to make sure that remains the case.

“Student-teacher ratio right now is about 16 to 1. That’ll be impacted by probably two or three, where an average would go from 18 to 20 to 21. There are only certain classes that we are concerned about, and those are the core classes: English, History, those types of things, MC Bible, Introduction to Old and New Testament. However, the plan is already in place to be able to accommodate those core classes,” Wright explained.

“I think it goes back to making sure that we don’t lose the kind of education that we provide on our campus. Maintaining that small classroom size, maintaining the rich relationships that our faculty have with our students. But we were up for the challenge, and we’re excited about what this class is going to provide us,” Ambrose said.

If you would like to apply to MC and this scholarship, you can go to their website.

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