CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Students are back in the classroom at the College of Charleston Tuesday. It’s a special year for the downtown Charleston campus as administrators welcome in the largest freshman class ever.

College leaders say they’ve seen a 17% increase in applications compared to the year prior.

And with a large number of incoming students, College of Charleston’s president, Andrew Hsu, said the main goal this year is to ensure housing remains a priority.

Leaders at the college also suggest arriving on campus early Tuesday morning.

“Arrive to your classes early, try to map out where you’re going, and find your parking spot early, because there are going to be a lot of people looking for things to do, looking for places to go,” said the Executive Director of Student Involvement, James Contratto.

President Hsu said at the incoming freshman convocation on Monday that he’s excited for the first day; he wants to make sure the school is dealing with housing effectively.

“I’ve never seen so many students in Cistern Yard and the energy level is great, everybody is excited about the College of Charleston, we have just become the first choice for so many students,” he said. “Our goal is to house every freshman who wishes to live on campus, and we want to guarantee them campus housing,” said College of Charleston President Hsu.

School officials tell News 2 there are over 100 events in the next six weeks to help students get involved on campus.