Nashville’s Belmont University is one of the fastest growing campuses in the nation, according to an annual “Almanac of Higher Education” report released last week by The Chronicle of Higher Education. What’s more, the University is the only one of its peers to be ranked in the Top 10 for fast-growing enrollment (Chronicle) and as a Top 10 Best Regional University in the South (U.S. News & World Report).
Universities of at least 2,000 students were listed in the Chronicle’s report and were divided into four charts—public and private research institutions and public and private master’s level institutions. The colleges were then ranked by the percentage of enrollment increase from 2001 through 2011. In the private master’s level category, Belmont landed at No. 7 with 104 percent enrollment growth between 2001 (3,129 students) and 2011 (6,395 students).
Associate Provost and Dean of Enrollment Services David Mee said, “Growth at many of the colleges and universities on the Almanac list reflect the addition of a large number of online-only students. Belmont’s growth has primarily been the result of an ever-increasing number of undergraduate and graduate students studying on the University’s campus, face-to-face with Belmont’s outstanding faculty, and as part of numerous student organizations and community service programs.”
While the growth has come at a rapid pace, the quality of education Belmont offers and the qualifications of incoming students have also increased over the same time frame. In fact, of the 80 universities listed in the Chronicle Almanac’s growth rankings, Belmont and Columbia are the only universities to also be listed in the Top 10 of their respective categories in U.S. News & World Report’s current rankings. From 2001 to 2011, Belmont jumped from No. 16 to No. 7 in U.S. News’ annual rankings and has been lauded five years in a row by its peers as being a Top School to Watch in the nation.
Moreover, Belmont graduates are receiving increasingly strong career outcomes. In the most recent data for December 2012 graduates, 92 percent of Belmont undergraduate and graduate students secured full-time professional employment, enrolled in graduate school or pursued military service within six months after graduation.
As classes began last week for the Fall 2013 semester, Belmont reached its largest enrollment to date, this time with a total of 6,918 students. This is the thirteenth consecutive year the University has topped its previous enrollment. While the University continues to draw students to its signature music and music business programs, other majors are also attracting high numbers, including nursing, audio engineering, entertainment industry studies, business, songwriting, biology, entrepreneurship, psychology, exercise science, public relations and social work.