[caption id="attachment_1005" align="aligncenter" width="461"]<a href="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2013\/09\/WVSU-Fall-2013-Class.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-1005" alt="The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Class of 2017 gathers in the Student Plaza during State Stride. There are 432 freshmen attending WVSU this fall, an increase of nearly 50 percent over 2012. " src="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2013\/09\/WVSU-Fall-2013-Class-300x202.jpg" width="461" height="309" \/><\/a> The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Class of 2017 gathers in the Student Plaza during State Stride. There are 432 freshmen attending WVSU this fall, an increase of nearly 50 percent over 2012.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nThe number of first-time freshmen attending West Virginia State University (WVSU), Institute, this fall surged nearly 50 percent over fall 2012 enrollment numbers.\r\n\r\nFall 2013 first-time freshmen enrollment numbers stood at 432 students as of this week, compared to 291 first-time freshmen in fall 2012. The upswing in enrollment turns around three consecutive years of declining enrollment at WVSU.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe have done a lot more outreach to let prospective students and their families know about the opportunities available at West Virginia State University,\u201d said Katherine McCarthy, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at WVSU. \u201cWe have also hosted a number of events designed to bring students to campus, and we have made great strides in getting financial aid packages out in a timely manner.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn addition to an increase in its freshmen class numbers, the geographic area WVSU draws its students from continues to increase, with 52 percent of first-time students coming from Kanawha County, 17 percent from Putnam County, 3 percent from Boone County and 2 percent from Cabell County. In all, students come to WVSU from 19 counties in West Virginia.\r\n\r\nIn addition, WVSU drew students from 17 states, with Maryland and Ohio sending the most students to Institute after West Virginia.\r\n\r\n\u201cI look forward to the contributions these Yellow Jackets will make in and out of the classroom in the coming years,\u201d said WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill. \u201cAs a public institution of higher education, it is our duty and responsibility to ensure that each of these students is provided an opportunity to accomplish their dream of earning a college degree.\u00a0 I have personally pledged to each of these students that WVSU will work hard to assist them in securing their success - ultimately leading to a lifetime of achievement and service.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn addition to an increase in first-time freshmen enrollment, ACT test scores of the newest Yellow Jackets were also up this fall over 2012 numbers.\r\n\r\nThe fall 2012 class posted an ACT composite score of 19.8, while the fall 2013 class posted an ACT composite of 20.0.\r\n\r\n\u201cMoving our incoming students\u2019 composite score upward at a time when our enrollment numbers are also increasing is quite an accomplishment,\u201d McCarthy said. \u201cIt shows that not only are we attracting more students to State, but we are attracting students who are better prepared academically to succeed once they get here.\u201d\r\n\r\nWhen combined with students transferring to WVSU, the total number of new students on campus this fall is 668, which is up 110 students over the number of freshmen and transfer students on campus in fall 2012.\r\n\r\nFinal total enrollment for the 2013-2014 academic year will be released in October, as part of WVSU\u2019s annual reporting to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.