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FSU to Welcome Largest Freshman Class Ever - 10 Percent Increase over 1999-2000

Frostburg State University will welcome its largest freshman class ever this fall, a projected 1,055 students, which is 10.2 percent more than last year's freshman class of 957 and 6.3 percent higher than the previous record class of 992 students in 1996.

"Part of the reason is that, increasingly, Frostburg State University is being recognized throughout the state for having a more diverse curriculum than was previously the case," said FSU President Catherine R. Gira, citing programs such as Engineering, Biotechnology and Therapeutic Recreation.

"In addition, we have a consistent and well-established reputation as a premier institution for training teachers." The shortage of teachers is drawing more people into that field, she said.

The larger class is also reflective of the fact that more high school students are graduating across the state.

This new freshman class is 51.4 percent male and 48.6 percent female. Minority students make up 22.8 percent of the class, including 15.3 percent African American. The vast majority, 88. 7 percent, come from Maryland, with Virginia providing the most out-of-state students.

With the bigger class, it will be crucial for FSU "to maintain the sense of community and close relationships between faculty and students that has been our heritage, our tradition since being founded," Gira said.

FSU's Residence Life Office is scrambling to find housing for as many of the new freshmen as possible, according to Dana Severance, director of Residence Life. About 50 students are still on a waiting list for on-campus housing, including about two dozen freshmen. Freshmen who finished their paperwork before the Aug. 1 deadline get top priority. Severance said they never had to make that distinction before this semester.

As it is, the residence halls are filled to capacity, 1,785 students, with extra space being found by housing students in lounges, giving roommates to resident assistants and putting three students in some of the larger double rooms. This is considered temporary housing.

Last year, all students housed in lounges were moved to permanent rooms within two weeks, Severance said. Generally, students who are happy in their temporary situations can stay for the semester.

"We pride ourselves in trying to be student-oriented," he said. "The student comes first." Severance said one of the reasons housing is at capacity is that they have done so well in their goal of retaining students on campus after freshman year. Amenities such as free Internet access and e-mail have proved very attractive, he said.

Gira said that activities on campus on weekends and in the evenings have increased and remodeled lounge facilities make it more attractive to be on campus.

Special interest residence halls such as community service, international studies and leadership also are attractive because students can live with people who share common interests, Gira said.

Severance said options are being explored to make more housing available in the future, but no new space will be available this year.

Projections are based on total paid admissions to date, plus past trends on the number of students who enroll late. Final numbers will be available in mid-September.

For more information on FSU, contact Admissions at (301) 687-4201.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589