Associated Press Published

Four-Year W. Va. Colleges Are Retaining, But Not Enrolling, More Freshmen

WVU, West Virginia University, Coliseum

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission reports that more students are entering four-year colleges in West Virginia this year with almost four percent more freshmen than last year while overall enrollment remains steady.

According to the commission, the college retention rate, meaning students returning for their second enrolled year, is nearly 71 percent, the highest level in five years.

However, enrollment of first-time freshman is 11,283 at the 11 four-year colleges,  is down 3.1 percent from five years earlier.

The commission says enrollment generally goes up in economic downturns and declines as jobs return.

The report shows total enrollment of 64,577 that’s nearly even with last year and down 5.5 percent since 2011.

The current total includes more than 41,000 West Virginians and 23,000 out-of-state students.