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here has been too much doom and gloom about the University of Missouri-Columbia. Apparently, students and their parents haven’t been turned away by some of the negative happenings at the school in recent years.

MU has 4,134 freshmen this fall — up from the 4,009 expected based on preliminary numbers released earlier. That’s more first-year students, including more Missourians, than any other university in the state, according to the University of Missouri Flagship Council.

A key element in enrollment is retention rate, which was 87 percent, the second highest in university history. The retention rate measures how many freshmen return to Mizzou for their second year. A very impressive figure is that the new class’ ACT average remains at 26, which is much higher than the state average of 20 and the national average of 21.

University officials speak with pride that MU is attracting the  “best and brightest” students in Missouri. Other universities also can boast the same thing but not in the numbers MU has.

Total enrollment is down at Mizzou, but it is down at many other colleges across the country. It even is down at East Central College. The total this fall at Mizzou is 30,870.