Sonya Hudson, Managing Editor

This year, 1,500 more students than expected enrolled into George Mason University. According to Dan Walsch, Mason’s press secretary, this means basically nothing will change for students on a day to day basis in the short term.

“Students will continue attending classes and living their lives as normal,” said Walsch. “What this could mean down the road is an increase in class sizes.” Walsch also noted that the recent budget cuts will contribute to fewer offered sections of classes and an increase in class size.

“The university can physically accommodate these students,” says Walsch, “but what the university is focusing on is maintaining a quality education for all these students.”

According to Walsch, the university surpassing its enrollment target means that the university has a good name, as many students are transferring to Mason, many more are deciding to attend as freshmen and the retention rate is higher than last year.

Walsch speculated that some of this stems from the bad economy, which is encouraging people to stay in school, take more courses and go back to school to increase credentials for better paying jobs. Students returning to Mason speaks to the quality of education they are receiving. Of course, Walsch explained these reasons are purely speculative as there is no hard and fast reason to an increase in enrollment this fall.

“George Mason University’s higher-than-anticipated enrollment increase is reflective, in many ways, of a growing appreciation of the connection between a quality education and one’s ability to obtain viable employment in today’s economy,” said President Alan Merten.

“This reality is seen in the upswing in students in a number of our academic areas such as teaching, engineering, the health professions and information technology. The enrollment increase in those fields, particularly among in-state students, also reflects the increased recognition of the quality of Mason’s programs in these and other academic areas,” said Merten.