Virginia Tech sees record applicants, concerning town of Blacksburg

55,000 students applied

BLACKSBURG, Va. – 55,000 Hokie hopefuls sent in their applications to join the Virginia Tech Class of 2028.

10 News sat down with Virginia Tech spokesperson Mark Owzcarski, who tells us application numbers have grown exponentially.

“What they’re saying to Virginia Tech is, ‘We think you offer what I’m looking for and we think it’s a great value,’” Owzcarski said.

But these applicants don’t just impact the school, they also impact the small town of Blacksburg.

Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith tells us while not all 55,000 applicants will get accepted, it’s still a lot for the town.

“55 sounds big, it’s bigger than our town to keep it in perspective,” Hager-Smith said. “Kudos to Tech, but this is going to continue to rise.”

Hager-Smith is concerned the more the university grows, the more the town will become overrun.

She tells us while they love the students, more and more students are moving into neighborhoods.

“We can only have as many as we can accommodate, so for years we’ve been hovering at this 30,000 undergraduate level,” Owzcarski said.

“They are the lifeblood of the community, but there was a town here before there was ever a university, and our role as members of Town Council and as professional staff for this town, is to be concerned for services and quality of life for our residents,” Hager-Smith said.

But Owzcarski is optimistic of keeping a good relationship with the town.

“There are many critical issues that the university, the town, and other local partners need to work together to solve and address,” he said.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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