There were 3,976 SSU students reported at a Friday SSU Board of Trustees meeting. There also was a 10-percent increase in full-time equivalent students.
"This is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people within our university setting and beyond in our state and local and community to make higher education more affordable and more accessible," Dr. Rita Rice Morris, president of SSU, said in a released statement.
The university is expecting the final total of students for the semester to reach the 4,000 mark once distance-learning students from industrial technology courses are counted and all fall registrations are final.
"In the first few weeks of a semester, our numbers are not exact, as students continue to add and drop courses. This initial report does indicate a significant increase for us. This is a tremendous sign of growth for Shawnee State and for the community," Morris said.
It also was revealed there was a 21.9-percent increase in the number of freshmen on campus. The number does not reflect an additional 166 students who are 2008 high school graduates, but have earned credit at SSU while in high school.
There was a 4.5 percent increase in students from southern Ohio, 7.2 percent increase in students from central Ohio and a 21.5 percent increase in students from southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky.
"The increased number is an indication of our growth, and something we plan to keep tracking. It reflects some of the incentives we have taken to recruit more students," said Office of Communications Director Elizabeth Blevins.
Other actions was taken by the board at the meeting, including the welcoming of two newly-appointed student representatives to the Board of Trustees - Whitney Stricklett and Carrie Dunham.
The board also approved the naming of the soon-to-be remolded patio area between the Administration Building and Rhodes Athletic Center to "Founder's Plaza."
"We have a lot of naming opportunities on campus and where the plaza is located between the James A. Rhodes Athletic Center and the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts," Blevins said." Riffe and Rhodes were both major founders and this was our way to honor them and others who have contributed to the university."
Construction is slated to begin in November.