SALT LAKE CITY - 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 1/2 years due to lost tuition.
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