Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Record Enrollment Strengthens Atlantic Sun Conference Institutions

Nearly every institution in the Atlantic Sun Conference enjoys record enrollment as the academic calendar rolls into its second month. In addition to unprecedented numbers of students around the league, new facilities and new programs provide a boost across campuses.

Belmont University saw its dramatic enrollment increases continue in the final year of this decade as it welcomed over 5300 students to campus. The institution’s enrollment has grown by more than 81 percent since 2000.

A new law school facility debuted in September at Campbell University. Over 5700 students will call Campbell home this fall.

East Tennessee State University eclipsed the 14,000 student mark for the first time in school history this fall. One of the highlights of the new numbers is nearly 2000 first time freshman enrollees in Johnson City.

New faculty, two additional degree programs, more instructional and residential space and a major environmental initiative will enhance the learning experience for Florida Gulf Coast University's students this fall. A record-setting 11,000 students, including 2,050 freshmen have been welcomed to the Fort Myers, Fla., campus.

A new program focused on campus visits for high school students is being touted as one of the major factors in Jacksonville University’s record enrollment. Sparking the increase are 700 new freshmen roaming the campus, an increase of more than 20 percent from last fall alone.

The largest student population in the A-Sun grew again this fall as Kennesaw State University will claim over 22,000 students on its rolls this year. In just five years, the north Atlanta campus has grown by over 4000 students.

A fourth consecutive year of record enrollment has the Lipscomb University campus excited about the future of the institution. Over 3400 students call Lipscomb home this year, capping a 35 percent increase in student enrollment over the previous four years.

As fall classes got under way for undergraduates on the Macon campus, Mercer University’s first-day enrollment figures topped the 8,000 mark, a 6.8 percent increase over opening day numbers last fall and an all-time record for the 176-year-old institution. Record retention rates and the largest freshman class in four years helped contribute to the significant enrollment increase.

While the University of North Florida enrollment numbers leveled off, the campus cut the ribbon on a pair of projects that officials hope will lead to even more students calling UNF home. A $50 million Student Union opened adjacent to Osprey Fountains, a new 1000-bed residence hall that features a swimming pool, lazy river and putting green among its amenities.

The largest freshman class in school history padded USC Upstate’s record enrollment of 5628 students this fall. Every measureable category of new student enrollment increased this year leading to a nearly six percent increase in overall student population.

First-year President Dr. Wendy B. Libby will usher in a new era at Stetson University. U.S. News and World Reports ranked Stetson third among the South’s top regional universities for academic quality. Strong growth in the College of Law helped bolster Fall 2009 overall enrollment by nearly three percent.

Signs of growth and vitality permeate the Atlantic Sun Conference and its member institutions.

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