About 4,700 freshmen began classes Monday morning at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Members of Marching Mizzou prepare for the Tiger Walk at the MU Columns on August 19, 2018 (photo from Learfield Director of News Services Ashley Byrd)

Mizzou officials say the number is 4,696. The university says that’s a 13.1 percent increase compared to 2017 and is the largest increase in ten years.

Mizzou says the 87 percent retention rate is the highest in school history.

School officials say the statistics indicate students are succeeding academically and are committed to continuing their studies at Mizzou.

MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright says he’s excited to welcome the new Tigers and returning students back to campus.

“We are not just the University of Missouri; we are the University for Missouri,” Cartwright says.

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