Virginia State University was among the leaders in total enrollment increases and first-year, first-time college enrollment in 2016, according to a recent report from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
According to the annual report, VSU’s 2.8 percent increase in total enrollment was the fourth-largest among 15 colleges and universities and was fourth-best behind George Mason University, Longwood University, and Virginia Tech.
Virginia State was fifth-best in the Commonwealth in total one-year increase among in-state undergraduate students and was Virginia’s best in the percentage of first-year, first-time student enrollment increase among in-state students, a metric viewed nationally as a sign of colleges providing opportunities to students from underserved and underprivileged areas.
Norfolk State University was among the state’s lowest in most areas of measurement, thanks in part to enrollment declines.
The statistics were revealed just a month ahead of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s budget request for small increases in higher education funding for the 2018-19 budget year, which calls for Virginia State to receive a $1.7 million appropriations increase for infrastructure improvements for information technology and campus safety equipment, while NSU could receive $1.3 million in support for its cybersecurity and biofuel research programs.
Both schools are also recommended to receive a collective $1.5 million in additional financial aid appropriations for in-state students in 2020, nearly tripling the schools 2019 budget of $537,483.
The recommendations support a state plan to ensure that 60 percent of Virginia residents hold at least a bachelor’s degree by the year 2030.