Higher enrollment at MSSU has economic impact on Joplin - KOAM TV 7

Higher enrollment at MSSU has economic impact on Joplin

Students are moving in this week at Missouri Southern State University.

All residence halls and apartment buildings on campus received $2 million worth of renovations this summer, including new carpet, paint, counter tops and furniture.

"I'm just really excited to start my journey," said Jessica Smith, freshman.

Smith is adding the finishing touches to her dorm room.

She says moving in can bring a lot of trips to the store.

"Walmart, especially," Smith said.  "You have to go to Walmart pretty much everyday."

And she is not alone.

Staff members say this year's freshman class is the largest it has been in several years.

"We've got a big group from out of state this year with our expanded in-state tuition, so they come with a suitcase or two that they were able to take on the train, bus or plane," said Samantha Quackenbush, Resident Director.  "When they get here, their first trip is out into the community to find the major things that they're going to need."

With more than 700 students moving in, it not only brings a boost to the Joplin economy spending-wise, but many students say they are also finding employment within the community.

"With them having a part time job and school, they will have money to spend back into the community," said Shannon Wymore, parent.

"It also gives students the opportunity, if they have time, to pick up a part time job to help Joplin out even a little more," said Julie Willis, parent.

Students without transportation will not be limited to staying on campus.

"The trolley system, I think, is going to help tremendously too," Quackenbush said.  "It's going to give them a way to connect with our community."

And a way for some to help out their parents when it comes to paying tuition.

"As Joplin re-grows back from the tornado, the businesses are there and will hire these college students to help support them to go through school," Wymore said.

Around 100 businesses and nonprofit organizations from the Joplin area will also be visiting the MSSU campus next Wednesday to begin making connections with students.
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