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Big freshman class boosts enrollment at Shepherd U.

October 21, 2009

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- Shepherd University recorded the largest increase in new freshman students in the university's history for the fall 2009 semester.

The number of first-time-in-college freshmen increased by 13.3 percent for fall 2009. Shepherd also had the largest increase in transfer students, with 5.1 percent more for fall 2009. The number of students pursuing graduate degrees at Shepherd has increased by almost 10 percent. These totals combine to create Shepherd's largest head count ever at 4,321 students.

"Shepherd is growing because our reputation is growing," said Kimberly Scranage, vice president for enrollment management. "Students and their families recognize the quality of a Shepherd University degree. Our graduation rate has increased, our students perform better on assessment tests than students at peer institutions, and we are consistently recognized nationally for excellence and affordability."

This year, Shepherd was one of only 26 schools selected for membership in the prestigious Council for Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). Shepherd students scored higher than 96 percent of colleges and universities on the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), demonstrating superior critical thinking and reasoning skills when compared with peers attending other institutions.

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Shepherd's six-year graduation rate, the standard by which colleges and universities measure time to graduation, has increased by 6 percent, as well. Shepherd also was named the top-ranked West Virginia public baccalaureate institution for the second year by U.S. News and World Report, and for the fifth year in a row, Shepherd was designated as one of the best colleges and universities in the southeast by the Princeton Review.

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