Virginia Tech gets even more freshmen than expected

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Virginia Tech has welcomed its largest-ever freshman class, which officials have said would strain the surrounding town.

The Roanoke Times reported Tuesday that the Blacksburg school's official census numbers show that 7,604 freshmen joined this fall. That number breaks the previous record 2017 freshman class size of 6,836, and school officials say it's 1,004 students more than initially anticipated.

University spokesman Mark Owczarski has said more students decided to attend the university than expected.

Engineering education professor Marie Paretti has said the surge should've been expected as per faculty predictions.

Paretti and Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith have said the increase in students will strain the area. The school tried mitigating the surge by offering to pay some students to delay attendance and housing some students in a nearby Holiday Inn.

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