West Virginia University’s freshman class is the most diverse since WVU began tracking ethnicity, according to preliminary enrollment reports.

“Diversity and inclusive excellence are key parts of our strategic direction,” said WVU President Jim Clements. “We are pleased to be heading in the right direction and will continue to work on both recruitment and retention of minority students, as well as faculty and staff.

“The more diverse our campus is, the better prepared our students are for work after graduation.”

As of the first week of classes, the number of domestic minority students in the freshman class rose 17 percent over 2011 with 101 more minority students in 2012. In 2011, WVU had 605 minority students in its freshman class. On opening day this year, the freshman class had 706 domestic minority students. In addition, the University’s international first-time freshman population grew by 53 percent, or 45 students, for a total of 130.

The freshman class has increased by more than 3 percent from 5,022 in 2011 to nearly 5,200. The majority of that increase – 57 percent – is students of color.

The enrollment report also shows a 39 percent increase to 159 of students who identified as two or more races. And there was a 19 percent increase from last year of students who identified as Hispanic, bringing that total up to 209.

Currently, domestic minority students make up 13.6 percent of the freshman class.

“Of course, as these counts settle out, we will see some changes in the percentage, but it will still remain that we have made significant gains in diversity this year,” said Brenda Thompson, associate vice president for enrollment management and services.

“We’ve worked hard to increase our diversity on this campus, and I couldn’t be more pleased to see this change in our freshman class,” she said.



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