Missionary age change affects BYU Idaho enrollment


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP)— Brigham Young University-Idaho says its enrollment has slowed following an October decision by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to lower missionary ages for men and women.

The Idaho Falls Post-Register reports 700 fewer students enrolled this semester at the Rexburg university than BYU-Idaho officials had expected.

The university says changing the eligibility age from 19 to 18 for men and from 21 to 19 for women largely explains the enrollment drop.

Between fall 2011 and fall 2012, BYU-Idaho’s student population jumped 12 percent. Enrollment edged up 4 percent this semester.

University officials say they anticipated lower numbers but weren’t sure how many students would opt to go on a mission. They say the sluggish growth will delay some campus building projects and will slow hiring.

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