Bucking a statewide trend of declining college enrollment, George Mason University has welcomed its largest student body in school history for the fall 2022 semester, with a freshman class that set a new record for both diversity and academic accomplishment.
Enrollment figures released by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia affirm Mason’s status as Virginia’s largest public university with 39,510 students enrolled, an overall increase of 368 students from a year before. Statewide, public university student enrollment dropped slightly, from 221,946 in the fall of 2021 to 220,466 in fall 2022.
Mason’s more than 7,000 total new students included 4,156 first-time freshmen and 2,781 transfer students. They collectively accounted for a 4-percent increase in freshmen students, a 0.9-percent increase in undergraduate enrollment overall, and a 1.1-percent increase in graduate enrollment from the previous year, with 3,052 new students.
“Mason’s consistent enrollment growth is a true testament to the strength and rigor of our academic programs and faculty, and, importantly, the role that Mason plays in the nation’s capital and a thriving Northern Virginia economy by providing access and providing the generation of talent for the region,” Provost Mark Ginsberg said.
The top majors for the incoming freshmen included computer science, business, cybersecurity and information technology, as well as nursing.
“While other universities in the commonwealth are experiencing a decrease in enrollment, Mason has consistently seen an increase for the last eight years, including this year,” said David Burge, Mason’s vice president for enrollment management. “The Mason Virginia Promise, now needed more than ever, is helping ensure families access to education and future career successes, especially the nearly one-third of Mason’s incoming class who are first-generation college students.”
Mason’s freshman Class of 2026 accounted for the highest averages in terms of GPA and SAT scores (3.8 GPA, 1230 SAT) and represented 45 different states and 32 countries. The majority of incoming freshmen were students of color.
Nearly half (48%) of Mason’s incoming freshmen are females.