There’s a brobible article going around Facebook and Twitter that shows each state’s largest university. You can see Mason’s logo breaking out of Virginia.
It’s pretty cool to be the biggest school in the state. It insinuates that you have the largest community, biggest sports fan base, etc.
As of this year, Mason currently has 33,917 students enrolled. 21,990 are undergraduates. That’s an enormous number. In fact, if you compared that with all the other public universities in the state, Mason beats them all by sizable margin:
But this is assuming that all students are being counted equally. Should the undergraduate taking 16 credits be counted equally with the student only taking one class? Each of these students has very different experiences at Mason, so maybe that should be taken into account.
Higher education researchers usually don’t count students this way. Instead, they use what’s called Full Time Equivalent (FTE), which counts students by their part-time/full-time status rather than whether or not they’re enrolled.
For example, let’s say two students go to Mason who are each taking six credits. Under FTE, those students would actually be counted as one student.
If we compared Virginia’s public universities using this measurement, the results would be much different: