FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Fayetteville State University (FSU) welcomed its most diverse and largest first-year class since 2007 for Fall 2023. FSU also grew its highest student retention rate to 78%, which is an increase of 14% since 2020.

According to FSU’s campus census, more than 800 students enrolled for this year’s fall semester. Aside from the largest first-year class, military-affiliated students hit a high with more than 2,100 enrolled.

FSU’s recent free tuition scholarship program for military-connected students and families played a significant role in the large military-affiliated student growth.

The high enrollment rate for the class of 2027 is partly due to the refreshed strategic plan that FSU Chancellor Darrell T. Allison leads. The plan focuses on academic excellence and student success.

“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 4 years or less,” said Chancellor Allison.

Chancellor Allison added, “Regardless of your background or financial status, Fayetteville State University meets you where you are academically, and takes you where you desire to be in your career.”