West Virginia University's total enrollment for fall 2012 rose by 90 students, bringing it to a record 29,706 students, and tied the largest freshman class ever at 5,135, the school announced Nov. 12.
Enrollment numbers also indicate gains in international and minority students. The school had an increase of 167 international students, a growth rate of 11.3 percent. WVU officials said the university more than doubled its number of first-time freshman international students over the past two years – 136 this year compared with 65 in 2010. Many of the international freshmen are from Saudi Arabia, an area of the world where WVU has a strong alumni base and the university has targeted for recruitment.
"We are pleased to be building a more diverse and international study body, as that enhances everything we do as a university," President Jim Clements said in a news release. "To keep quality as a priority, we are raising private dollars, adding new faculty lines, investing in new facilities, developing new degree programs, and creating more student support structures. WVU has a lot of positive momentum, with an incredibly supportive network of alumni, and our enrollment growth is a reflection of those strengths."
WVU also saw a 9.4 percent increase in African American students, or 101 more students this fall, for a total of 1,180. WVU also saw a 1.6 percent increase in graduate enrollment, or 52 more students. The University has 3,240 graduate degree-seeking students.
WVU also announced its freshman enrollment from fellow Big 12 Conference states has also gone up by nearly 20 percent in the past year, with 18 students from Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Overall enrollment at all three WVU campuses is 32,593. The WVU Institute of Technology has an enrollment of 1,106, a drop of 209 students from 2011, attributed largely to the elimination of the football program. Potomac State College of WVU has 1,781 students, a slight decrease of 19 students from last year, but its largest freshman class ever: 729 students.