The Times West Virginian

February 14, 2014

Inclement weather hampers FSU’s recruitment

Visitation numbers off with problems of getting into high schools

By Chelsi Baker
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Accumulating inches of snow and ice have hampered Fairmont State University’s recruitment rate from area high schools.

Officials discussed the weather’s impact on current and future enrollment at Thursday’s meeting of the FSU Board of Governors.

“Admissions has really struggled because of the inclement weather with getting into the high schools for events,” said Kay Widney, vice president of the Enrollment Committee. “The high schools obviously have struggled with having financial aid workshops and college fairs, so (visitation) numbers are off a little bit.”

Snow days have kept students out of school, making it difficult for admissions counselors to schedule visits. They have made nine visits since Dec. 12, 2013, and Fairmont State has participated in three college fairs.

Admission counselors have also scheduled 67 personalized on-campus visits with potential incoming freshmen.

The university has pushed some scholarship deadlines back to March 1 to give students who have missed school due to snow days extra time to turn in necessary paperwork.

So far, there has been a slight increase in Fall 2014 applications, however.

Spring 2014 undergraduate enrollment is 3,219, which is 160 students fewer than Spring 2013. Graduate enrollment, which is 246 for Spring 2014, is also down with a 46-student loss from the 2013 spring semester.

The enrollment committee held a Mid-Year Intervention Event for students on academic probation Jan. 12, which educated them about time management, study skills, satisfactory academic progress and financial aid in attempts to keep them in school and maintain enrollment numbers, according to facts presented by the Enrollment Committee.

They will hold a Mid-Semester Crunch Workshop in March that will target students who have two or more D/F or incomplete grades at midterm to help them improve their academic standing.

Outreach activities have also been planned to contact students in good academic standing who did not return to FSU after fall term.

In other business:

• The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Committee released its master plan for the next five years.

Goals include increasing access to post-secondary education for traditional and nontraditional-aged prospective students in the state, the number of students at system institutions completing quality academic programs and the impact public colleges and universities have on the state by producing qualified graduates.

• The Fairmont State Foundation reports assets of more than $20 million currently, and audited figures show the foundation provided $903,000 in scholarships during the 2013-14 academic year.

The group’s goal is to continue to help students fund their education through scholarships, said Will Armistead, president of the Fairmont State Foundation Inc.

Email Chelsi Baker at cbaker@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @cbakerTWV.