Dear Campus Community:
As mentioned in a previous communication, the University of Memphis (U of M) was successful with a new piece of border county legislation during the recent session. The legislation provides for in-state tuition for students from border counties in Mississippi and Arkansas. What is most critical about this legislation is that it exempts the U of M from the "penalty" assessed for out-of-state students, approximately $5,400 per student, that is currently deducted from our state formula funding allocation. Given our unique geographic location, coupled with the demographic trends likely over the coming decade, growth at the U of M is heavily dependent on enrolling students from neighboring states. Our 250-mile radius program, implemented last year, positioned us well. The new legislation is essential for our growth in the coming years and is estimated to provide new revenues in the range of $4-$5 million annually. At the heart of our argument is the premise that approximately 60% of these students will end up residing in the Memphis area, paying taxes and supporting our community in a broad range of ways. As you can see from the attached saturation map, the majority of our student growth is within the 250 mile radius program range.
We're having a successful recruitment effort this year and are optimistic about the coming academic year. Our orientation and housing numbers are ahead of last year's pace and provide a foundation for our optimism. We're projecting continued growth in our freshman class. I'll keep you updated as we have more details in the coming months. Yesterday's graduation events were fabulous, with 9,000-10,000 attendees at each event. Thank you to all involved in the planning and execution of commencement. I hope your academic year has been a good one. Thank you for all you do for our students and community.
M. David Rudd