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EPHRAIM — As students head back to school next week, most of Utah's colleges and universities are seeing a decline in enrollment. Officials said lower enrollment numbers are due in large part to the LDS Church's missionary age change. Snow College administrators expected to be the hardest hit by the age change but the school has seen a surprising increase in incoming students this fall.
Last fall, Snow College anticipated a decline in enrollment up to 25 percent. At the beginning of the new school year, however, administrators said they have seen an increase in students.
Lincoln Crump is an incoming freshman from Arizona. She said she chose to come to Snow College for sentimental reasons.
My parents met at Snow and my aunts and uncles have all gone to Snow so I'm carrying on the family legacy,
"My parents met at Snow and my aunts and uncles have all gone to Snow, so I'm carrying on the family legacy," she said.
Crump moved into her dorm Friday. She said another reason she chose to come to Snow College is the school's smaller size.
"Definitely the class size, being able to to have a relationship with the professors and getting a quality education were all factors," she said.
Smaller classes and fewer students are also reasons why Morgan Peterson is returning to Snow College for her sophomore year.
"It's a fun campus and I love the interaction between students and teachers and the support system they give us," she said.
Snow's president Scott Wyatt said he was worried when he heard the announcement about the missionary age being lowered.
"(When the announcement was made) we were down about 25 percent of our students, but we have made it up," Wyatt said.
90 percent of Snow's students are LDS and most incoming students have just graduated from high school. He said Snow worked hard to recruit incoming freshmen.
"We have such a huge freshman class coming this fall that we will have more students this fall than we had last year," Wyatt said.