President Keenum: Mississippi State was “well prepared” for crisis

Traditionally, May 1 is the deadline for students to decide what college or university they will be attending in the fall, but this year is a little different as many schools have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 400 schools have extended the decision date, however, Mississippi State University is not listed as one of the 400.

Nevertheless, Mississippi State’s president, Dr. Mark Keenum, anticipates and hopes for a large freshman class in the fall.

“Our applications and new student numbers were looking really good going into this calendar year,” Keenum said. “I’m hoping to have a good enrollment here in the fall.”

Keenum also noted that the university feels comfortable with their current financial situation, even amidst the COVID-19 breakout.

“We are probably as well prepared financially to deal with a crisis, and I’ll put us up against any school for that matter, across the country,” Keenum said. “We have managed our accounts, our funding, and so forth.”

While Mississippi State was seemingly prepared for a crisis, other schools have not been so fortunate. The University of Michigan recently announced that they forecast to lose up to $1 billion. Some smaller schools such as MacMurray College in Illinois have officially closed their doors due to complications from the coronavirus outbreak.

With the current school semester reaching a conclusion, Mississippi State will now undividedly set its sights on going back to normal in the fall—in the safest way possible.

“We are hoping we can reopen in the fall with in-person classes,” Keenum said. “Safety is the absolute number one criterion.”

Mississippi State will honor a record 3,300 graduates tomorrow through a virtual commencement. The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. CDT and can be streamed here.

To listen to Keenum’s full interview on the current status of the university, check out the video below.