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(West Plains) – Due to changes in the registration process at Missouri State University-West Plains, it will be more important than ever for students to sign up for classes before the 2013 spring semester begins January 14.

Beginning this spring, Missouri State-West Plains will no longer offer late registration periods during the first full week of classes. Instead, officials are encouraging current, returning and first-time students to register as early as possible during the regular registration period, which for the spring semester runs from November 28 through January 13.

Officials with the college say that statistics show differences in student success rates and retention between those who complete the enrollment process before classes begin and those who sign up for classes during late registration. In fall 2011, late registrants had a mid-term passing rate of 58.4 percent compared to the entire student body’s 80 percent passing rate. By the end of the semester, late registrants had caught up some, but still lagged behind the entire student body, 61.7 percent to 73.1 percent.

Retention rates also saw dramatic fluctuations between late registrants and all students, with 24 percent of late 2011 fall semester registrants returning for the 2012 fall semester. For all first-time full-time freshmen, that rate was 45.5 percent.

University officials encourage students to enroll early each semester so they may complete all steps necessary in the process, including the processing of financial aid, before the first day of classes, including providing official high school transcripts, college transcripts and the application fee to complete admission process; complete placement testing; attend a Student Advising and Registration (STAR) Orientation session and meet with an academic advisor before they can register.

In conjunction with these steps, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and scholarship application and any required supporting documents as soon as possible to obtain financial aid.

For more information about the new registration procedures and deadlines, please call the Missouri State-West Plains admissions office at 417-255-7955 or visit wp.missouristate.edu.

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