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Newberry College Shatters All Student Enrollment Records

September 15, 2017

Exterior of Holland Hall

Newberry College enrolled a record-high 459 new students for Fall 2017, marking another year of record-breaking enrollment for the incoming class. The new record represents an astounding 20 percent increase over Newberry’s previous enrollment high water mark of 381 new students set in fall 2016. Overall, College enrollment increased 10 percent over last year to a headcount of 1,190 students, including 1,157 full-time students.


“One of the important reasons for the past several years of record-breaking enrollment growth stems from our determination to really examine the needs and interests of our learners and respond with a strong sense of urgency,” said Newberry College President Dr. Maurice W. Scherrens. “By adding new career-focused academic programs and expanding our co-curricular programs, we continue to strengthen our reputation as an outstanding value proposition.”


Enrollment for the incoming class included 356 freshmen, 85 transfers and 12 readmits. The tally also included six students in the inaugural cohort for Newberry Online, an online degree-completion program for working adults and traditional students transferring at least 45 credits from other institutions.



  • Out-of-state enrollment for the incoming class comes from 22 states, drawing primarily from the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
  • The top five states by enrollment are Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland and New York.
  • International students in the incoming class represent 12 countries. Overall, international students come from 25 countries throughout the world. Australia leads international enrollment followed closely by Spain, Canada, Ecuador, Germany and United Kingdom.
  • Top five areas of study selected by the incoming class are Business Administration, Nursing, Biology, Sport Management and Teacher Education. Pre-Engineering, a 3+2 partnership with Clemson University, tied for a place in the top five. Additionally, a sizeable number of the incoming class are undeclared majors and plan to use their first year of college to explore a variety of areas of study.


Joel Vander Horst, Newberry’s Dean of Enrollment Management, noted that the launch of three new NCAA Division II sports –Men’s Lacrosse and Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, which began competing in Fall 2017, played an important role in driving enrollment gains, particularly in out-of-state recruitment.


Newberry focused on developing or expanding in-demand majors based on interest from both prospective and current students. The College also aimed at strengthening ties with technical college programs with a natural progression to baccalaureate programs at Newberry.


“Basically, students asked and we listened,” Vander Horst said. “Current student interest drove the expansion of several programs, including Criminal Justice, Sport Management, Healthcare Management and Digital Marketing. The high level of inquiries from prospective students drove the expansion of programs such as Nursing and Pre-Engineering.”


Newberry faculty and coaches also have deepened their involvement throughout the recruitment and enrollment process.


“For a school like Newberry College, where personal attention is an important part of our brand promise, the one-on-one interaction with faculty and coaches is highly valued by prospective students during their search process,” Vander Horst said. “Faculty also have played a pivotal role in reinforcing our relationships with parallel programs in the two-year colleges.”


In the competitive higher education landscape Newberry College has continued to focus on affordability.


“We offer a generous financial aid package that often makes us the most affordable choice for many students,” said Holly Wood, Director of Financial Aid. “Our Loan Repayment Promise also is an attractive benefit with its pledge to help students repay their college loans if they make less than $40,000 per year after graduating from Newberry. The program gives students and their parents added peace of mind if they find it necessary to take out college loans.”


The College’s efforts aimed at value and affordability recently caught the attention of U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Newberry College seventh in Best Value for Regional Colleges in the South in its 2018 rankings released earlier this week. Newberry also grabbed the number three spot for Least Student Debt at Graduation for Regional Colleges in the South on the national publication’s annual report on colleges.


“We are fervently committed to preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives,” Scherrens said. “We personalize the college experience and, by doing so, we find ourselves becoming a college of first choice among prospective students. The relentless effort and tireless dedication of our faculty, coaches and staff are what make these advancements possible.”

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