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Fayetteville State reports enrollment growth, improved student retention rate

More than 800 welcomed into Class of 2023, largest since 2007


Enrollment jumped significantly among several populations as Fayetteville State University welcomed its largest, most diverse first-year class in nearly 20 years for the fall 2023 semester.

FSU also scored its highest student retention rate in recent years to nearly 78%, which is am increase of 14% in just two years. The retention rate was 63.3% in 2020, according to an FSU news release.

According to its 2023 campus census, FSU Class of 2027 is its largest first-year, first-time freshman class since 2007, with more than 800 students.

The university also hit an all-time high for military-affiliated student enrollment, surpassing 2,000 for the second consecutive year with 2,168. This growth is largely attributed to a recently announced free-tuition scholarship program for military-connected students and their families, including those on active duty, veterans, reservists, and their spouses and dependents.

“I believe that FSU is starting to see the fruits of its labor, as we have worked tirelessly to remove considerable obstacles to education, such as cost, while also ensuring that students remain and obtain their degree in four years or less,” Chancellor Darrell T. Allison said in the news release. “We are fortunate to be one of the most diverse universities in the nation, with a population of traditional-aged students, adult learners, and military-affiliated students.”

Monica T. Leach, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, said FSU has become a “driving force” for affordable, accessible and flexible education.

“It’s one thing to get students here but another strategy to keep students here,” Leach said in the news release. “Our retention rates hit a historic high this semester. I am extremely proud that nearly 300 returning students have re-enrolled at FSU this year.”

Progress was also reported in other areas:

  • More than 4,000 continuing students enrolled this semester, a nearly 10% increase over fall 2022.
  • Forbes magazine recognized FSU for having one of the best online English degrees of 2023.
  • The school of nursing was recognized as No. 1 among the Top 10 Best historically black colleges and universities in the nation for 2023.
  • The school of business was recognized as the No. 1 online MBA program among all 103 HBCUS and the third-highest program in North Carolina.

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