Higher Ed in W. Virgina is a Growth Industry

We often talk of the campus as a great place to launch a venture because it is a healthy marketplace — both in aggregate and in many specific niches. Here is some evidence from my neighbors in West Virginia.

A recent study by West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy committee shows great growth in enrollment year over year and over the past 5 years. According to a story by Walt Williams at Channel 13 WOWK,

Enrollment at the state’s colleges and universities hit an all-time high earlier this year, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission announced Thursday.

A record 93,712 students were enrolled in West Virginia’s higher education institutions at the start of the fall 2009 semester, the commission said. This year marks the first time enrollment surpassed 90,000 students.

The figures include enrollment in public four-year and two-year institutions and represent an increase of 6.7 percent, or 5,909 students, over the previous year and an increase of 13.1 percent, or 10,867 students, over a five-year period.

It is interesting to note that the largest growth over the 5 year period was a school of Osteopathic Medicine. The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine grew 114% (in terms of enrollment over the past 5 years).

(A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, or DO, is the degree you receive from a school of osteopathic medicine is similar to receiving anMD from a medical school — you have to go on and do a residency.)

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