West Virginia Wesleyan College officially will open Saturday with 460 new students attending for the latest semester.
John Waltz, director of admission at the college, presented facts and information about the new students, how they interact with the community and how students today differ from previous generations, during a talk Tuesday with members of the Buckhannon Rotary.
Waltz graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College and West Virginia University, where he earned his master's degree in communication studies.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Melissa Toothman
John Waltz, director of admission at West Virginia Wesleyan, speaks to Buckhannon Rotary members Tuesday regarding the newly enrolled students for the upcoming year.
"Students today are faced with a lot of challenges," he said - such as the economy, large student debts and a tough job market. He noted these affect all college students, not just those at Wesleyan.
He also said students today have grown up in a different environment than past generations, making them more creative and tolerant of diversity, sexual orientation and other matters.
Of the 460 new students, 413 are freshmen and the remaining 62 are transfer students. About 51 percent are women and 49 percent are men. Last year, more of the new students attending the college were men.
He said 75 of the students have a high school grade point average of 4.0 or higher; 195 students earned 3.5 or higher; and 307 earned at least a 3.0 or higher.
The new students represent 21 states and nine countries, with more than half of the students from West Virginia. Some of the most common states other students represent include Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Students also are attending from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Serbia, Korea and Israel, among others.
The top five majors chosen by the incoming students are biology, nursing, athletic training, education and all business majors.
"When we're thinking about this class coming in, one of the things we can think about is business partners and community members," Waltz said.
He added, "We're just looking as a college to try to serve our students better."
About 90 to 95 percent of students are receiving financial aid at the private school, with tuition, room, board, and fees totaling $33,314 for the upcoming year. Waltz estimated that about 35 to 40 percent of the students are athletes, and not all of them are on scholarships.