WVU fall semester sees record enrollment
West Virginia University set a new enrollment record for the fall semester, university officials announced Monday.
WVU announced total enrollment of 29,706 students this semester, an increase of 90 over this time last year.
The increase came as WVU tied its own record for the largest freshman class ever. The new freshman class of 5,135 students matched the total in 2008.
WVU was one of six schools in the state to see enrollment gains this fall, according to new data from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
Bluefield State College, Concord University, Glenville State College, West Liberty University and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine all reported gains from 0.3 to 2.2 percent.
The student population also became more diverse this year, with an 11.3 percent increase in international students and 9.4 percent increase in African American students.
The university also reported freshman enrollment from Big 12 Conference states - Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas - increased 20 percent to 18 students.
Graduate enrollment also increased 1.6 percent, or 52 students. WVU now has 3,240 students seeking graduate-level degrees.
President Jim Clements said the university was pleased to see the increases, particularly in international and minority enrollment.
"WVU has a lot of positive momentum, with an incredibly supportive network of alumni, and our enrollment growth is a reflection of those strengths," Clements said in a statement.
He said the university was committed to raising more private dollars, investing in new faculty and facilities, and developing new degree programs.
Other state schools lost students this fall.
Total college and university enrollment fell 1.1 percent, dropping from 68,364 in fall 2011 to 67,589 this fall, according to Higher Education Policy Commission data.
The commission reported Marshall University enrollment fell 2.2 percent to 13,277 students. Fairmont State University enrollment declined 3.6 percent to 4,451 students.
West Virginia University's Institute of Technology in Montgomery, which has been plagued with financial and facilities problems in recent years, saw the biggest year-over-year decline of any public institution in the state.
WVU Tech enrollment fell nearly 16 percent year-over-year, dropping from 1,315 to 1,105 students.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5148.