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Delta State’s New President on Road Recruiting

TUPELO, Miss. ― Delta State University’s new president is going on the road to recruit students to the regional university in Cleveland.

“I’m trying to commit a day or two a week to recruiting during the peak part of the year,” said Bill LaForge, who became president last April. “I’m trying to turn over every rock we can because we are looking for good students.”

Delta State’s enrollment has fallen in each of the past seven years, and is now about 3,600, he said.

Early indicators are good for growth next year, he told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, with spring enrollment gains and with applications at a 10-year high.

“I think we are seeing a wave, but it is too early to cheer,” he said.

Complicating the school’s enrollment problems, LaForge said, the Delta area has lost 47 percent of its population over the past 50 years.

The school has started heavily recruiting in the Memphis area. It has frozen next year’s tuition at $6,012 and waived out-of-state tuition fees.

“We are doing that to even the playing field in the recruiting war,” LaForge said. “We are encouraging students to come because we are an excellent school and a great value.”

Nearly half of the college’s graduates are from the College of Education. Other chief programs include aviation, nursing, business and the Delta Music Institute.

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