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Utah College Enrollment Increases

New data shows the number of students at Utah colleges increased this year as Mormon missionaries continued to flood back to school after the church's historic move to lower missionary ages.

But state higher education officials say that bump was tempered by enrollment drops as the improving economy sent other prospective students to the workforce instead of the classroom.

The data released Wednesday shows that Utah's eight public colleges and universities grew by a total of about 2,000 students over last year, an increase of 1.3 percent.

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Brigham Young University is also welcoming back more students.

Spokesman Todd Hollingshead says the private institution's enrollment has grown back to where it was before The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lowered the age requirement for missionary service in 2012