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Liberty University enrolls largest student body in history; online education programs hit new records

Students walk on the Academic Lawn at the start of the Fall 2022 semester. (Photo by Chase Gyles)

This fall, Liberty University has welcomed more students than ever before in both its residential and online programs, exceeding 130,000 students for the first time. Total on-campus enrollment stands at a record 15,800 students. Liberty’s online programs hit a record 115,000 students pursuing degrees from across the nation and around the globe.

A longtime leader and pioneer in online education, Liberty is also celebrating a record 18,400 students enrolled in Liberty University Online Academy, which offers Christian online education for K-12.

“God continues to bless Liberty University, and we are grateful to have started this year off strong with our largest student body ever,” said Interim President Jerry Prevo. “Our Christian mission, world-class academics, and NCAA Division I athletics have allowed this amazing institution to rise and become a top choice in the nation. It’s an exciting time to be on campus. It’s also an exciting time to be part of our online programs where adults are advancing their careers and families are finding Bible-based curriculum for their children. By God’s grace we are fulfilling our founder’s original mission of Training Champions for Christ.

Last fall, Liberty marked its largest class of new residential undergraduate students (including transfers) at 4,800 students; this year’s incoming class is a close second at 4,600.

The student enrollment record can largely be attributed to Liberty’s unwavering commitment to its biblical foundation and mission, reassuring many parents, alumni, and donors that it will not falter as so many other historic universities that were founded on the Christian faith have. Today, more families are looking for a university like Liberty.

The current residential population includes students from all 50 states and over 80 countries.

The university celebrated its 50th Anniversary last year and remains one of the youngest universities to experience such rapid growth.

“Not only has God been faithful to maintain our enrollment, but He has also gone above and beyond and has allowed Liberty to see record-breaking enrollment,” said Ron Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing. “With the continued growth of our online program, Liberty’s impact is truly being felt around the world.”

The last three years have brought challenges for colleges and universities, and many schools have not been as fortunate as Liberty through these difficult times, Kennedy added.

“It’s a challenge for such a large institution as Liberty, but we were able to accommodate our guests through virtual tours and admission sessions when greeting them face to face was not an option,” he said. “We adjusted to remote operations when necessary without compromising our quality service. God has blessed us through it all.”

As the university continues to experience enrollment growth, it has expanded its capacity to serve more students by diversifying its degree programs, utilizing innovative technologies, and renovating and building new campus facilities.

Liberty has 15 colleges and schools, including a law school and medical school. Students can choose from more than 700 unique programs of study from the certificate to the doctoral level. Over 450 programs are offered online.

“We are seeing exponential growth in enrollment as well as high retention rates, which not only means that we are meeting the needs of our new students, but we’re also adding value to our existing students,” said Scott Hicks, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “At the heart of the matter is the heart of our people. The way we add the most value is by educating the whole person and being obedient to Christ. Because we have remained committed to our original mission, Training Champions for Christ, we are seeing the fruit.”

(Photo by Chase Gyles)
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