Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU: Freshman Class Largest in History

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU: Freshman Class Largest in History

Article excerpt

A West Virginia University administrator told the school's governing board that the school has welcomed the largest class of freshmen in its history, with an 8 percent increase in the size of the freshman class from the prior year. Provost Joyce McConnell told the WVU Board of Governors during its Friday meeting that the university's enrollment appeared to be stabilizing from previous years and that the projections for the future look bright.

"This is powerful evidence that our initiatives are working, she said.

In addition to size, McConnell said the students have an average GPA of 3.7, the highest on record.

These enrollment numbers aren't official, though, and could change in a few weeks. In October, the state's Higher Education Policy Commission will release a headcount enrollment census that shows how many students are physically learning on campus.

Jessica Tice, spokeswoman for the commission, said it takes a while for the official data to come out because the state wants to make sure that the data accurately represents how many students are physically on campus and attending classes. Releasing the data sooner, she said, might mean students who drop out early in the semester are included in the count, which would skew the results.

It's also unclear how WVU's new billing policy will affect these early enrollment estimates, if at all. In previous years, if students hadn't paid their tuition before the first day of classes, they were dropped from all of their classes. In some instances, students who had no intention of ever coming to class enrolled anyway, only to be dropped when the semester began.

Starting this year, the school won't automatically drop those students. If students have registered for classes, the school will assume students are on campus and want to attend, even if they have never attended a single class.

Further, the university will hold students responsible for paying a portion or the entirety of their fees for the classes depending on how long the student stays registered. …

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