The West Virginia University system began classes Wednesday with record numbers of first-time freshmen enrollment – 6,224 across its three campuses in Morgantown, Beckley and Keyser. The incoming class also features higher test scores and an increase in international students.
“This increase shows that more high school students everywhere are beginning to recognize the quality education available at West Virginia University,” President Gordon Gee said. “I have been saying for years that West Virginia University is the ‘Goldilocks’ university: not too big, and not too small, but just right.
“We offer students a smorgasbord of subject areas, giving them the widest possible choices, even after they arrive,” he said. “We remain small enough, however, to provide a supportive community for all.”
In a letter to all faculty, staff and students on the first day, Gee reinforced this idea.
“Our commitment to each other manifests in the values we have chosen to embrace (service, curiosity, respect, accountability and appreciation),” Gee said. “Those values, along with our spirit of rugged determination and optimism, will allow us to serve as a bright example of what an institution of higher education can do for its state, its people and its country.”
There were 5,241 first-day, first-time freshmen students in Morgantown, an increase of 55 from last year; 364 at West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Beckley, an increase of 49 from last year; and 619 at Potomac State College of WVU in Keyser, a decline of 46.
Average high school GPAs were up at all three campuses, said Stephen Lee, associate vice president of enrollment management.
“West Virginia University is pleased to welcome the largest and most academically talented first-time freshmen class in its history,” Lee said. “We are honored that so many quality students chose WVU and we look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have on the University over the next four years.”
Included in the Morgantown numbers was the largest Honors College class in history, 921.
“Not only is this the largest class of first-year Honors students, it’s also one of the best academically,” said Kenneth Blemings, dean of the Honors College. “They chose WVU because of its academic programs and the personal attention they know they will get here in the Honors College.
“We’re so pleased to welcome the class of 2021 to our campus in Beckley,” Campus President Carolyn Long said. “This new group has already made a name for themselves here through their work with community organizations during new student orientation. They’re a welcome addition to our student body, and we couldn’t be more proud to have them join the WVU Tech family. We look forward to a successful year together and are excited for the bright future ahead.”
“This is a positive indicator that we are making a difference on our campus," she said. "There is a great sense of energy and excitement on campus – we are thrilled to have the students here
Overall enrollment numbers for the three campuses will be available later.
CONTACT: John A. Bolt; University Relations/Communications
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