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Missions Sited as Reason For Enrollment Drop at Utah Colleges

flickr.com, Versageek

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — There are fewer  students this spring at Utah’s colleges and universities due to an unprecedented wave of Mormon students going on missions. Enrollment is down 1-7 percent at nine universities and colleges in Utah compared to the same time last year.

Larger decreases are expected in the fall. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Oct. 6 that it was lowering the minimum age for missionaries: from 21 to 19 for women; and from 19 to 18 for men. The church says mission applications are up two-fold since then, with younger missionaries joining older missionaries who were already planning to go.

Colleges and universities are projecting losses in the tens of millions over the next 2 ½ years due to lost tuition.

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