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Welch Marks Highest Enrollment in 36 Years
Welch College’s annual enrollment totaled 489 for the 2019-20 academic year, marking the highest enrollment in 36 years, according to Provost Matthew McAffee. “We are thrilled by this number and believe it shows we’re gaining significant momentum in enrollment growth,” McAffee said.
Registrar Sharon Rodgers completed final enrollment statistics for the 2019-20 year, after registration for the third session for the Adult Studies programs was complete.
“The college’s highest annual enrollment was in 1981, with a total of 648; I’m thrilled to say we have exceeded our 1984 total enrollment of 467,” said Daniel Webster, director of enrollment services, who has closely monitored the college’s enrollment history. “Over the past four years, we have seen a 43% increase, from 341 in 2016 to this year’s total of 489.”
“We’re so pleased to see this rebound in enrollment from our difficult years back in the Recession of 2008-09,” President Matt Pinson noted. “With the dawn of this COVID-19 pandemic, our faculty and staff are rising up in amazing ways to meet this new challenge, and our students are responding wonderfully. While these are difficult times, we’re confident God will see us through the days ahead.”
College officials credit the college’s relocation to its new campus in Gallatin, Tennessee, with much of the recent growth. “While the name change and new campus have contributed to this growth, the dedication and hard work of every person who plays a part in marketing, recruitment, and admissions for Welch College continues to amaze me,” added Webster.
For more information about Welch, visit welch.edu. To apply to be part of future classes at Welch, email email@example.com.
Welch Receives Coronavirus Relief
Welch College recently received an emergency relief grant of $400,000 from the Free Will Baptist Foundation to cover impairment from COVID-19, according to President Matt Pinson.
“We are so thankful to the Free Will Baptist Foundation and its Board for this generous grant,” Pinson said. “This will help us close the enormous gap between income and expenses caused by the coronavirus.”
Economists predict higher education will be one of the economic sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. This is especially true of colleges and universities relying on in-residence dorm students for the bulk of their revenue.
“The entire fiscal year for most private, residential colleges is based on how many students come during the fall semester,” Craig Mahler, vice president for financial affairs said. “Higher education experts are bracing for an extremely difficult year. In addition to enrollment, industry projections are that gifts will be down drastically owing to job losses, the impairment of donors’ investment portfolios, etc. Add to that all the money we’ve lost by sending students home for half the spring semester, and you have the perfect storm.”
College officials predict the $400,000 grant from the Foundation, as well as a Small Business Administration loan of over $700,000 and CARES act grants of over $300,000 will help make up a fraction of the shortfall. But most will have to be done by budget cuts and additional appeals for funds from alumni, friends of the college, and denominational supporters.
“Our greatest challenge is going to be students unable to enroll because of parents’ job losses and other economic harm to their families,” Pinson said. “Some of our friends and supporters aren’t going to be able to give for the same reasons. But we’re praying that those who still can give will support these students who won’t be able to attend Welch without that extra support.”
For more information, or to give to support needy students, please visit welch.edu/give and click on Coronavirus Student Relief Fund.