Fall enrollment record shattered – again

One year after total student enrollment at Western Carolina University topped 10,000 for the first time in the institution’s history, records continue to tumble at WCU as fall’s official enrollment was 10,382. University officials say the 2.7 percent jump in the total student population over last year’s tally of 10,107 was driven in part by an increase in the size of the freshman class and another year of improved retention rates.

The number of first-time, full-time freshmen at WCU in the fall was 1,745, up 8.1 percent from the fall 2013 freshman class of 1,614, said Tim Metz, assistant vice chancellor for planning and effectiveness. The university’s freshman retention rate – the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students who returned for their sophomore year – was nearly 78 percent, comparable to last year’s record of approximately 79 percent, Metz said. The average high school weighted grade-point average for the freshman class this year was 3.74, up from last year’s overall freshman class GPA of 3.67, he said.