- Associated Press - Saturday, November 19, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The total enrollment of West Virginia’s public four-year colleges has declined for the fifth consecutive year.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports (https://bit.ly/2guLtxV ) about 250 fewer students have enrolled compared to the previous year, according to a report given to the state Higher Education Policy Commission.

Commission Vice Chancellor for Policy and Planning Neal Holly said most of the decline is a because of a decrease in non-traditional students who returned to school following the 2008 recession but have since graduated or left their programs.

The number of first-time freshmen increased 3.7 percent compared to last year, but the overall rate is still down from previous years.

The only schools to see significant enrollment gains were West Virginia State University and West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.

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