Blue and Gold - Fall 2021 | Winter 2022 Volume 2 - Issue 2 - Page 6

The results for the Fall 2021 semester are much more dramatic :
• The freshman class is nearly 600 , 45 % of the school ’ s total enrollment of 1358
• A 9 % increase in overall enrollment means that Bluefield State is now the fastest- growing college in West Virginia
• One-third of the freshman class are minority students , one-fourth are African Americans , the largest percentages since the 1960s
• Overall enrollment of minority and African American students has risen to 22 % from 1 % three years ago
The freshman class is nearly 600 , 45 % of the school ’ s total enrollment of 1358 . A 9 % increase in overall enrollment means that Bluefield State is now the fastest-growing college in West Virginia .
The President then outlined other steps taken that broaden the College ’ s immediate and longterm horizons :
• Increased fundraising from $ 75,000 in 2019 to more than $ 650,000 in 2020-2021
• Purchased a former hospital property , including a 300,000 square foot building in excellent condition and 63 acres of flat ground , with a total value exceeding $ 50 million
Correspondingly , the College ’ s Cumulative Financial Index ( CFI ) improved as well .
From January to June , 2019 , it improved marginally from -1.94 to -1.85 .
From June , 2019 , to June , 2020 , it jumped from -1.85 to +. 97 .
This was the first time the College ’ s CFI was a positive number . Ever .
President Capehart concluded , “ We still have a way to go to free ourselves from financial stress , but we are certainly moving in the right direction .”
He then pivoted to several challenges the College faces beyond the strong growth that is projected to last the next couple of years . These include :
• An even more competitive higher education marketplace driven by advancements in technology and a dwindling pool of potential in-state students resulting from an overall decline in West Virginia ’ s population
• A correspondingly dwindling pool of qualified students to enter the College ’ s challenging disciplines in health care sciences and engineering technology
• Demographic challenges exacerbated by fewer college-ready students as a result of the pandemic
President Capehart concluded , “ We still have a way to go to free ourselves from financial stress , but we are certainly moving in the right direction .”
In June , the Board of Governors met to respond to these issues . The consensus then , the President reported , was that “ our primary objective must be to increase student access to programs that are both relevant and responsive to the job opportunities that exist in today ’ s employment market .”
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