LINDSBORG, KAN., September 28, 2011— With a headcount of 632 students, Bethany College’s fall enrollment increased by 3.6% from last year. Bethany’s student body is now the largest it’s been since 1997.
This is the fourth consecutive year Bethany’s enrollment has increased, growing 17.7% from 2007 to 2011. Four-year growth has happened only twice since 1970 (from 1979 to 1983 and 2000 to 2003) and the current four-year growth rate is the biggest since the 1970’s.
“This is an exciting time for students at Bethany as we continue the renaissance that started four years ago. Our Call to Action plan is working,” said President Edward F. Leonard III. “But we will not rest—we must keep working the plan to grow Bethany bigger, better, stronger.”
Leonard believes Bethany’s growth has been accelerated by improvement projects to the student experience and campus infrastructure, including a focus on retention, wireless internet in the residence halls, classroom technology, and campus landscaping.
Leonard said, “This year’s headcount speaks to the value of a Bethany education because even with today’s tight economy and Bethany’s tuition increase, we have one of the largest student bodies seen in almost 15 years.”
The quality of Bethany students has been maintained as enrollment grows. “One thing that hasn’t changed is the high quality of our students. They have consistently scored well on the ACT and SAT,” said Leonard. “Our admissions representatives do an outstanding job of growing our student body by finding good students who are good fits with Bethany.”
Tricia Hawk, dean of recruitment and marketing, said, “Bethany has challenging curriculum, attentive faculty, and a rewarding honors program for top students. It’s a combination that helps students build their skills and explore their potential. We recruit students who will excel in this environment.”
Starting this year, Bethany will begin implementing programmatic improvements to enhance the overall experience of first-year students. The changes are in response to first-year assessments Bethany conducted as part of the Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year© project by the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.
“Higher learning is an important investment in your education and your growth as a person, and we are committed to engaging students from both of those perspectives,” said Hawk.
Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service.