Baptist universities see enrollments top 9,300 students

Anderson and Charleston Southern universities recorded increases in enrollment when registration numbers were tallied in late-September, while North Greenville University anticipated slightly fewer students on campus.

Anderson University’s fall enrollment was expected to top 3,500 students, including a 17 percent increase in graduate program enrollment. Freshmen retention from 2018-19 exceeded 80 percent, one of the higher university retention rates in South Carolina.

“Overall, we recruited a very academically able freshman class who are also a great fit with our Christian mission and campus culture,” said President Evans Whitaker. “We were also pleased to be named among the 801 best universities in America by the Wall Street Journal, which also ranked us 27th in the nation in student engagement.”

After graduating its largest class in school history in May, Charleston Southern University welcomed 820 new undergraduate students this fall, as well as posted a record graduate school enrollment of 585.

CSU’s total enrollment remains at more than 3,400, with more than 1,200 campus residents. The university opened the academic year with a series of worship services. During the first week of classes, 61 students made public decisions to follow Christ.

“Charleston Southern is strategically positioned to help increasing numbers of students determine their calling and develop their character as they earn life-changing credentials to launch their careers,” said President Dondi Costin. “We pray for as many as possible to experience the unapologetically Christian education we provide, and we are pushing hard toward that end.”

While North Greenville University graduated its largest class in school history in May, with 391 students, the university had a “slight decline” in overall enrollment this fall, with 2,428 students, according to school officials. Of that total, 2,128 are undergraduate students and 260 are enrolled in graduate programs.

“Because of the large graduating class and the fierce competition in the higher education sector, we anticipated that enrollment would be flat to slightly down and planned for it,” said NGU President Gene Fant Jr. North Greenville is conducting a search this year for a new vice president for enrollment and marketing, he noted.

“We are grateful for the support of our South Carolina Baptist partners, who send us their students, their prayers, and a portion of their Cooperative Program gifts,” Fant said.

“We have had a wonderful start of the year, including a campus revival and a missions conference,” he said, “and we look forward to seeing God continue to move on all of our campuses and in each of our classrooms.”