- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

MIDWAY, Ky. (AP) - For the first time in nearly 170 years, Kentucky’s only women’s college will soon start accepting males as full-time undergraduates.

Midway University’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Monday to make the change, the school announced.

Men can apply as full-time undergraduates starting this fall and can apply to live in residence halls starting in spring 2017. Males are currently accepted into online and graduate programs. The school will continue with scholarships, reunions and speaker series that are dedicated to women.

Midway President John Marsden said the change should help maintain the viability of the liberal arts school, which was founded in 1847 as the Kentucky Female Orphan School.

Enrollment last fall was down to 1,042 students, with just a quarter of those enrolled in the Women’s College, and fewer than 200 living on campus.

“Today is yet another historic moment in the life of an institution that has always transformed itself to remain relevant,” Marsden said in a statement. “We see this change as strengthening our historic mission to educate women by broadening our reach to that 98 percent of young women who would never consider a women’s college.”

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