5,393 students registered for university’s fall 2009 semester
Belmont University is welcoming a record-breaking number of students to its first day of classes today with a fall 2009 enrollment of 5,393. The growth marks an increase of 7.9 percent from last year and a rise of 81 percent since 2000 when the school enrolled 2,976 students. The Belmont student body currently consists of 1,005 graduate students and 4,388 undergraduates, representing record enrollment in both categories.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Belmont’s continued growth is a reflection of the impressive academic reputation this university is garnering across the nation, a fact that was evident in the recent U.S. News & World Report rankings. Students see Belmont as a source for an academically challenging education that will empower them to engage and transform the world. That mission—and Belmont’s ability to meet it—are drawing the best and the brightest to this campus.”
In the annual U.S. News & World Report ranking of America’s best colleges and universities, Belmont was cited most as a Top School to Watch and was ranked 7th in the South in the “Best Universities – Masters” category, the highest ranking for the university to date. Once again, Belmont was also the highest ranked university in Tennessee in this category and was also praised for its commitment to undergraduate teaching and the strength of its general education programs. The rankings are based on several quality indicators including student retention rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratios and scores on college entrance exams.
This year’s incoming freshman class represents 45 states and eight foreign countries. The university received a record number of applications, more than 3,200. The average ACT score for the 2009-10 freshman class is 26. Thirty-five percent of new freshmen at Belmont were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, and 67 percent were in the top quarter. This year’s freshman class of 995 students held an average un-weighted cumulative high school GPA of 3.53, with 5.6 percent graduating as either valedictorians (42) or salutatorians (14).
In addition to the well-qualified freshman class, Belmont’s graduate programs are growing in size and diversity. The School of Pharmacy welcomed its second class of 75 doctoral students this fall, and the New Teacher Project—a partnership between Belmont and Metro Schools—saw nearly 100 Masters of Education candidates begin coursework this summer.