May 6, 2020 : By Liberty University News Service
As a pioneer in online education, Liberty University continues to pave the way for online college students across the country and around the world and has now surpassed 100,000 students enrolled in its online programs.
“Liberty has been a leader in providing distance education as an alternative to the traditional classroom since the mid-1980s,” said Liberty President Jerry Falwell. “Meeting this enrollment goal at this time shows that our programs remain an attractive option for working adults who need the flexibility, convenience, and affordability that our online programs provide. It also shows that students value a Christian education that will help them thrive in their careers and in life.”
Graduates of Liberty University Online Programs participate in Commencement 2019 on Liberty’s campus. This year’s Commencement has been rescheduled for Sept. 11-12.
Liberty’s distance learning program began in 1985 as the Liberty University School of Lifelong Learning, just 14 years after the school was founded. Through correspondence courses with VHS tapes sent through the mail, students were able to work while attending school for the first time. The internet boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s made it possible for Liberty to offer Christian college degree programs exclusively online.
Now, Liberty offers 450 online academic programs, from the undergraduate to the doctoral level, training students for in-demand fields such as nursing, business, computer engineering, and more, all with the same standards of academic excellence as Liberty’s residential programs.
Liberty has worked hard to provide a Christ-centered education to as many students as possible. Special benefits are available for active military and spouses, veterans, first responders, and small business owners. Liberty also accepts corporate tuition assistance.
Even while studying from their homes and military bases around the world, online students are connected to Liberty’s physical campus in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains through multiple online resources.
“Liberty is a very special place,” said Shawn D. Akers, Online Provost. “We’ve worked diligently to make biblically sound, high-quality education available at every level, from undergraduate to doctoral, and not only to traditional students, but also to busy professionals, military personnel, and so many others searching for a university that would help them reach their educational goals. We’re humbled and grateful that today over 100,000 students find Liberty’s dynamic online programs to be the best for their lives.”
Liberty’s previous record online enrollment topped 98,000 in 2014.
While many other online colleges have raised tuition, Liberty has been able to keep costs low as a nonprofit university. Tuition for all undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs has not increased in five years. Available grants and loans, as well as scholarships and flexible payment plans that are specifically designed for online students, are helping students reach their education goals with fewer costs.
“God has certainly blessed our efforts,” said Ron Kennedy, Executive Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing. “I remember stepping into this role in 2005 when we were excited to enroll 9,000 online students. We made it our mission to meet people’s needs — giving them affordable tuition so that as many people as possible could benefit from a Christ-centered education. It was a privilege to renew that focus when I returned to this role three years ago, and today our vision for the future is the same as it was in 2005 — to help as many people as we can receive a Christ-centered education. For Liberty to surpass 100,000 students is a tremendous accomplishment, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the talented team God has assembled around me.”