‘Follow Your Heart’
288 new students join the ranks at D&E College
ELKINS — Davis & Elkins College posted a more than 10 percent increase in its incoming class population this weekend as 288 new students joined the ranks of returning students enrolled for courses in the fall semester. The College also experienced a more than 10 percent increase in the number of students residing on campus this year over last.
“The increase in new students, as well as residential students, is a tangible indication that the high-quality high-touch education at Davis & Elkins is resonating with students who want individualized attention and unlimited opportunity for leadership and service that is a hallmark of D&E,” said Davis & Elkins College President Chris A. Wood. “We are attracting more students from across the Mountain State, but have also seen an increase from regional states as well as international students.”
Director of Admission Matt Shiflett says the increase is a direct result of the collective every day efforts of the campus community who create a positive atmosphere and admission counselors who brought the D&E message to students looking to further their education in a close-knit setting that gives a personal touch to achieving goals and dreams.
“After months of travel to high schools, college fairs and other events in West Virginia and neighboring states, the admission staff did an amazing job of delivering information on the essence of the College to prospective students and inviting them to visit,” Shiflett said. “Once students and their families came to campus, they were extremely impressed with the family atmosphere and the quality of education their son or daughter will receive at D&E.”
The incoming class is made up of students from 12 countries and 20 states. Those hailing from West Virginia represent 37 counties, a figure Shiflett attributes to the expansion of the Highlands Scholarship.
“Expanding the Highlands Scholarship to give West Virginia students a chance to attend a private college at an affordable rate has been very well received,” Shiflett said. “The word is really spreading that D&E provides an amazing opportunity for West Virginia residents.”
In 2015, the Highlands Scholar program expanded to include qualified students in all of West Virginia’s 55 counties, making it possible for them to receive a private college education at a reduced tuition cost. Previously, the Highlands Scholar program was open to students from Randolph, Barbour, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Tucker, Upshur and Webster counties. The average scholarship award per year ranges from $14,000 for residential students to $11,000 for commuting students.
This year, more students are opting to live on campus with the overall residential population well exceeding 500. Vice President for Student Affairs Scott Goddard says that’s a greater number of students occupying residential halls than he has seen in his 20-plus years at D&E. To make sure accommodations were met, maintenance employees were on construction duty over the summer converting lounge areas into residential spaces.
“There are countless benefits to living on campus including convenience, opportunities to develop life-long friendships, and to live in an environment that fosters the educational and personal growth of students,” Goddard said. “Not only are the residential students members of the D&E community, they are members of the Elkins community. Personally, I’m ecstatic to see so many students living on campus, the stage is set for a vibrant campus throughout the 2017-2018 academic year.”
Students arrived Saturday and Sunday and moved into their new homes away from home with the help of President Wood, his cabinet, faculty, staff and student-athletes.
“Nothing says welcome to the D&E community more than a group of faculty, staff and students descending on every car, truck and van that transports our new students to campus in order to unload it quickly and conveniently,” Wood said. “When we say ‘welcome to the D&E family,’ we back that up with our actions. Davis & Elkins College is a blessed place, and our new students and their families experience that from their very first moments on campus.”
Classes begin on Monday and various student-centered activities are planned throughout the week.