Enrollment growth, rankings continue to flourish for 10th straight year
Following the official period when students can drop/add classes or withdraw, Belmont University realized a record-breaking final census of 5,936 students on campus as the university’s growth continues at a phenomenal rate for the tenth straight year. This year’s enrollment marks an increase of nine percent from last year and a rise of 99 percent since 2000 when the school enrolled 2,976 students. The Belmont student body currently consists of 1,293 graduate students and 4,643 undergraduates, representing record figures in both categories.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Not only is this our largest enrollment to date, but our incoming class also represents our strongest student pool ever. This indicates to me that many of the country’s best students are discovering Belmont to be a truly unique place where their passions and talents can be developed to meet the world’s needs.”
This year’s incoming freshman class represents 44 states and four foreign countries. The University received a record number of more than 3,330 applications for freshman admission. 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 68 percent were in the top quarter. This year’s freshman class of 1,019 students held an average un-weighted cumulative high school GPA of 3.53, including 25 valedictorians and 10 salutatorians.
In the annual U.S. News & World Report ranking of America’s best colleges and universities, Belmont was cited for the third year in a row as a Top School to Watch and was ranked 5th in the Regional Universities South 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 praised for its commitment to undergraduate teaching and the strength of its learning communities. The rankings are based on several quality indicators including peer assessment, student retention rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratios and scores on college entrance exams.
Interim Provost and Massey Dean of the College of Business Administration Dr. Pat Raines added, “The improvement in our peer ratings proves Belmont University’s growing national reputation for the high quality of our academic programs and the commitment of our faculty to teaching. Engaging students in transformative learning is at the heart of all we do.”
Belmont’s record-breaking enrollment news comes on the heels of significant announcements in the University’s physical growth as several new buildings opened recently. On Aug. 21, Belmont celebrated the grand opening of the new 90,000 square foot McWhorter Hall, which houses the Schools of Pharmacy and Physical Therapy, as well as the Department of Psychological Science. The university also opened two residence halls, Patton Hall and Bear House, which collectively provide an additional 103,000 square feet of residence space for more than 400 Belmont freshmen. In addition, Belmont announced plans for the renovation of Belmont Heights Baptist Church’s main sanctuary to transform the space into a classical Concert Hall. A groundbreaking for Belmont’s College of Law is expected this fall as well.