May 27, 2015 : By Drew Menard
|Liberty University will open a portion of a new high-rise residence hall, Residential Commons II (left), this fall, next to Residential Commons I, which opened in 2014.|
Liberty University’s rapid growth has made headlines across the country, and now with its on-campus enrollment expected to hit a record this fall, there is further proof that the growth continues.
Liberty has announced that for the eighth consecutive year it will be closing enrollment for the fall semester, due to every student housing facility reaching its capacity — 7,877 beds. The fall semester will see the largest-ever amount of students in campus housing.
Even with two new high-rise residential halls — the nine-story Residential Commons I opened last fall with 1,200 beds and the first phase of Commons II will open this fall with about 425 beds — the university expects to turn away nearly 1,000 students for the Fall 2015 semester. (All freshmen are required to live on campus). Opening Commons II will allow the university to close both of its Residential Annexes, two former hotels on Odd Fellows Road that were converted into residence halls. Annex II closed in May, and Annex I will close in December.
“The demand shows that Liberty is the top choice for students and parents who are seeking a world-class Christian institution that offers quality academics and a wide range of extracurricular activities that can’t be found anywhere else, including a 35-team Club Sports program and 20 NCAA Division I athletics teams that are poised for a move to an FBS conference,” said Chris Johnson, executive vice president for enrollment management.
As Liberty continues its $500 million campus rebuilding, which includes more residence halls as well as new and upgraded academic, recreation, and athletic facilities, the university is on track to meet its goal of accommodating 16,000 students studying on campus by 2020.
Liberty remains the nation’s fifth largest university, the largest private, nonprofit university in the country, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world.
With demand at an all-time high, Liberty received a record number of applications for the Fall 2015 semester — 33,914 — marking a 3 percent increase over last year. Liberty’s growth in applications earned it the top spot on Mic.com’s list of the most popular colleges last year, showing 993 percent growth from 2003-2013 and eclipsing Ivy League schools.
This is also the 11th year that Liberty has increased and/or maintained its “quality indicators” for admission (SAT and ACT scores and high school GPA).
“At the same time we’re investing in the campus infrastructure, we’re revitalizing foundational academic programs and creating new ones that prepare our students to obtain jobs upon graduation in some of the fastest-growing career fields,” Johnson said. “With the high volume of applications coming in, we’re able to be selective and increase the quality of our student profile.”