COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia has recorded its lowest total enrollment in more than a decade, but a surge of freshmen has officials encouraged that the school appears poised to move past the slump that followed race-related protests.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that classes began Monday with 4,696 first-time college students. That's up 13 percent from last year but still almost 2,000 below the record set in 2014.

As that large 2014 class and the one that followed in 2015 graduate, several years of smaller classes that entered after the protests are replacing them. That means overall, first day enrollment was 29,443, or about 1,100 fewer than last year.

Spokesman Christian Basi says the university expects another year of declining enrollment in 2019 before it rebounds.


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune,