West Virginia University’s student body makes up nearly half of the state’s students at four-year colleges and universities, according to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in its recently released enrollment figures.

Enrollment at all three campuses, WVU main campus, Potomac State College of WVU and WVU Institute of Technology, grew to 32,731 total students – an increase of 380 from last year.

That is nearly 2.5 times that of the university with the next highest enrollment in the state. The state’s overall enrollment for four-year institutions has shown a slight decline from 68,453 to 68,364 as several schools saw enrollment decreases.

“It is important to note that a lot of the enrollment growth is occurring in areas that are critical to our strategic plan, including international students, minority students, and graduate students. In addition, the academic profile of our incoming students has also improved,” said President Jim Clements. “This reflects the ongoing momentum that WVU has been experiencing, and I want to thank our faculty and staff for making WVU such an attractive place for students to study.”

WVU’s main campus has a record 29,616 enrollment in fall 2011. The overall enrollment increased by 310 students or 1.1 percent. Enrollment in Morgantown has increased by nearly 7,000 students over the last 10 years.

Click below to hear Inside WVU report on growing enrollment.

“It’s exciting to see that even in tough economic times, students and their families continue to recognize a WVU education as a great investment,” said Brenda Thompson, associate vice president for Enrollment Management. “I’m even more encouraged to see that recognition occurring on a global level as the number of students from other countries continues to grow. Our students benefit tremendously from the rich environment created by the growth in diversity.”

WVU’s main campus freshman class is 5,022 students, as three of the last four years the first-time freshman enrollment has exceeded 5,000.

In addition, the freshman class is 12 students smaller than 2010, but the academic profile has improved from that year. Students’ average ACT, SAT and high school grade point average all increased.

Transfer students in Morgantown increased by 7.3 percent (1,185 students) from last year. There was also a 5.5 percent increase (1,480 students) in international students – much of that growth is at the undergraduate level, where WVU has nearly 20 percent more international students from last year.

Click below to hear the program director for fellowships and recruitment Constinia Charbonnette discuss why it's important to recruit minority students and how it diversifies the curricular experience.

Nearly 50 percent of the growth in the undergraduate population this year was attributable to minority students.

First-time graduate student enrollment increased by 3.9 percent (1,416 students) on the main campus. Minority graduate student enrollment made an even larger jump by nearly 8 percent.

As enrollment grows, the University is taking steps to ensure that students continue to receive a quality education, including adding faculty positions.

WVU’s Graduate Education & Life has created a program called “Alumni Mentoring for Excellence Network” where minority graduate students are matched up with a minority alumnus who is in the field the student would like to go into. In addition, minority graduate education has increased with the help of multiple student organizations like the Black Graduate Student Association and the International Graduate Student Association.

Click below to hear Charbonnette discusses a new program that allows minority graduate students the opportunity to gain advice from professionals and WVU alumni.

“It’s not about bringing minorities or international students to campus. It’s about making our students grow and making our University more powerful,” said Constinia Charbonnette, Program Director for Fellowships and Recruitment in the Office of Graduate Education and Life.

For more information about enrollment at WVU, visit the Planning and Treasury Operations website at http://planning.wvu.edu/institutional_research/institutional_reports.



CONTACT: Brenda Thompson, Enrollment Management
304-293-3837, Brenda.Thompson@mail.wvu.edu

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