After nearly a decade of unprecedented growth, enrollment at universities around the nation is now beginning to decline for many reasons. That trend is being seen across Virginia, too, including here at Virginia Commonwealth University.
But VCU’s students continue to excel in some very significant ways. For example, our six-year graduation rates and second-year retention rates are the highest in our history, and we believe they will continue to rise. We enroll—and graduate—more in-state students than any other university in Virginia, women and men who will be the next generation of leaders in our commonwealth. In our commitment to expand access, about one-third of VCU’s newest freshmen are first-generation college students, and about one-third are students who are supporting their education using Pell Grants—remarkable totals for a premier national research university. We also graduate more African-American students than any other Virginia institution. And we attract more transfer students than ever, an 18 percent increase since fall 2012 thanks to articulation agreements in place with all 23 schools of the Virginia Community College System.
With about 7,500 VCU students graduating each year, we are focused on the growth of this educated population as an investment—one that not only stimulates our state economy, but reflects how truly distinctive VCU is.