Here's how Utah colleges avoided steep enrollment drops after Mormon missionary change

Tim Goral's picture

When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made its historic announcement in October that the qualifying age for missionaries had been lowered to 18 for men and 19 for women, Utah's higher education community saw a storm approaching.

But a quick response by school administrators and lawmakers appears to have parted the clouds and averted the money loss that could have resulted from a student exodus.

As the ranks of LDS missionaries swelled to record numbers, administrators convened special task forces and ramped up recruitment efforts to replenish their student bodies. State education officials also worked with lawmakers to pass SB51, which allowed schools to waive the increased tuition for out-of-state students based on merit.

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