Welch College’s total annual enrollment totaled 436 for the 2017-18 year, marking the highest enrollment in 33 years, according to Provost Matthew McAffee.
“Recently, our highest enrollment was in 2006, with a total head count of 420,” McAffee said. “We are thrilled by this headcount and believe it shows we’re gaining significant momentum in enrollment growth.”
In 1984, total annual enrollment was 461. The highest since then was in 2006 with a total of 420. The college’s highest annual enrollment was in 1981, with a total of 648.
“For the past five years, Welch has been experiencing a rebound in enrollment from our difficult years back in the Recession,” President Matt Pinson said. “Like many Christian colleges, Welch’s enrollment dipped in the aftermath of the Recession, and we struggled as a result. We’re thankful to have seen enrollment gradually increase over the past five years, and it’s great to see it reach pre-Recession levels.”
“College enrollment trends have changed over the years,” said Daniel Webster, Director of Enrollment Services. “Our high years back in the late 1970s and early 1980s were when the Baby Boomers were in college. Since then, not only have the numbers decreased in general, but also factors like free community college, lottery scholarships, and the advent of online education have had a negative impact on the enrollment of residential Christian colleges. So we’re thankful for this gradual growth in times like these,” Webster explained.
College officials credit the college’s name change and relocation to its new campus in Gallatin, Tennessee, with much of the recent growth. “The name change and new campus have contributed to this growth, and the hard work over the past decade by Mrs. Debbie Mouser and others on the Enrollment Team has laid the kind of foundation that will ensure healthy growth over the next decade,” added Webster.
Pinson said, “I expect enrollment to top 500 in the next year and set an all-time record in the year or two after that.”