With classes beginning this week for the Fall 2012 semester, Belmont University reached another record-breaking enrollment number, this time with a total of 6,647 students. This is the twelfth consecutive year the University has topped its previous enrollment.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “In the year 2000, the University enrolled 2,970 students. To see this level of growth in a dozen years—while we have attracted more qualified students and improved our retention and graduation rates—is very rewarding. I’m honored that so many accomplished young adults are embracing this university’s mission to empower students to use their talents and passions to transform the world.”
The new students heard that message loud and clear this week as one of their first activities as a member of the Belmont campus was to engage in community service. Together, 1,800 new Belmont students—consisting of freshmen, transfers and some graduate students—spent Monday morning volunteering their time to more than 30 community partners during an annual event called SERVE.
The impact from that event continues to grow as more and more students are attracted to attend Belmont and stay in the Nashville community after graduation, often continuing to serve the programs and organizations they’re introduced to while in college. This year’s enrollment marks an increase of four percent from last year and a doubling of the size of the student body in the past decade. The Belmont student body currently consists of 5,298 undergraduates and 1,349 graduate and professional students, representing a record for total enrollment.
This year’s incoming freshman class represents 48 states and 14 foreign countries, with 73 percent of the class originating from outside of Tennessee. The University received more than 7,700 applications for graduate and undergraduate programs. The average ACT score for the 2012-13 freshman class is 26.43. In addition, 35 percent of new freshmen at Belmont were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, and 62 percent were in the top quarter. This year’s record freshman class of 1,273 students—up 100 students from 2011—held an average un-weighted cumulative high school GPA of 3.54 including 33 valedictorians and 19 salutatorians from schools reporting rankings.
Associate Provost and Dean of Enrollment Services David Mee noted, “Belmont’s growth is truly remarkable. At a time when a significant portion of college and university growth nationally is driven by online and distance learning, Belmont continues to attract students to Nashville who are committed to a traditional campus-based experience, whether as an undergraduate or a student pursuing a graduate or professional degree.”
The University’s record-breaking enrollment news is being matched by physical campus growth as Belmont celebrates the opening of three new buildings to better serve the expanding student body. Both the Randall and Sadie Baskin Center (home to the College of Law) and Dickens Hall (an upperclassmen residence) opened in the past week on the campus’ eastern side. Both facilities include underground parking garages to accommodate a total of more than 1,000 cars. The University also recently completed the renovation of Belmont Heights Baptist Church’s main sanctuary to transform it into a classical Concert Hall—the grand opening event for that space is scheduled for October 5.
All of Belmont’s construction projects reflect the institution’s phenomenal growth and ongoing commitment to Middle Tennessee. Visit http://bebelmont.com/nashville/ for more information on Belmont’s engagement with Nashville.
Final enrollment figures won’t be available until mid-September following the university’s official drop/add/withdraw period.