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Drury’s residential students return to in-person classes for 2020-21 academic year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 21, 2020 — Drury University’s residential undergraduate students returned to classrooms across campus Thursday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.

There were 1,417 students on campus when classes began, compared to 1,469 at this time last year, a decrease of 3.5 percent. Drury’s incoming class of students boasts an average high school GPA of 3.8 and an average ACT score of 25. About 10 percent of the class are students of color, which is an increase. Retention was better than expected and international student enrollment held steady.

“Enrollment numbers are in line with our expectations for this year, especially given the uncertainty created by the pandemic in addition to long-term demographic trends,” says Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “Our admissions and student affairs staff have done incredible work reaching out to current and prospective students one-on-one. We are pleased with this year’s enrollment figures and we’re certainly glad to see students back on campus this week.”

College enrollment has declined in the Midwest and across the nation in recent years. In Missouri, college enrollment dropped 12 percent statewide over the last five years, according to the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Drury has responded to the long-term trends through the launch of the unique Your Drury Fusion academic platform, focusing on holistic advising through the Robert and Mary Cox Compass Center and adding new co-curricular programs such as marching band, among other changes. The university will break ground on a new academic building for the business and political science programs this fall.

All data is preliminary and based on opening week head counts. Final enrollment totals will be available following Drury’s official census day in early September.

Drury has been preparing for a return to in-person teaching and learning since April. The university released its Panther Plan: Our Roadmap for Fall 2020, in early June and outlined key measures such as a mask mandate and single rooms for all residential students in campus housing. The plan continues to be refined based on the latest data and confirmed science. Drury’s Panther Plan is the work of the university’s Student Health and Public Safety Committee, comprised of faculty, staff, students and administrators, in collaboration with local public health officials.

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Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Executive Director of University Relations - (417) 873-7390 or mikebrothers@drury.edu

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