MARSHALL (KMHL) – Its largest class since 2016 – that’s how Southwest Minnesota State University is talking about the new class of first year students at the university.

According to a press release from SMSU, the school is welcoming in 349 first-year students to campus this fall – an increase of 17.5 percent from last year.

SMSU notes that it’s one of the few four-year institutions to show an overall enrollment increase amid COVID-19.

SMSU President Kumara Jayasuriya says the numbers are very positive and a tribute to the hard work and commitment of faculty and staff, led by the Office of Admission.