TWU Celebrates Record Enrollment Again in 2020
Tennessee Wesleyan University welcomed a record number of students this fall, with a total enrollment of 1,168. Fall 2020 marks the second consecutive year of record enrollment for TWU, following a total group of 1,142 back in 2019.
“We are very pleased that we have another record year of enrollment,” said TWU President Dr. Harley Knowles. “It is a credit to our new and returning students who had faith in us and chose to attend despite concerns about the pandemic. Our students have told us over and over that they are drawn to our campus community because it a place where they feel safe, supported, and academically challenged.”
While a variety of factors impact total enrollment, particularly notable in the fall 2020 class are strong retention numbers, both overall and from last year’s freshman class, as well as record numbers in TWU’s graduate student population and RN-BSN online program.
TWU shattered previous retention records, with 81.4% of students returning across the board, both undergraduate and graduate. 77% of fall 2019 freshmen returned, breaking the previous record of 70%, also set last year.
Our students have told us over and over that they are drawn to our campus community because it a place where they feel safe, supported, and academically challenged.
A record 112 graduate students are attending this semester, thanks in part to the newest class of Master of Occupational Therapy students at the Knoxville instructional site, as well as the brand-new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, which began this past May.
“We are also thrilled that we are at capacity with the new Master’s in Occupational Therapy program that is located in Knoxville at the Fort Sanders Campus,” added Dr. Knowles. “And our newest master’s program in education (MAT) has met a critical need, and the new enrollment reflects it. This degree is designed to prepare college graduates in STEM fields to become professional educators.”
The RN to BSN program, which allows registered nurses to complete their bachelor’s degree online through the TWU Fort Sanders School of Nursing, enrolled 55 students, up 16 from last fall’s class.
“I think another factor in this is the well-earned scholarships our students receive,” added Dr. Knowles. “We are able to make TWU more affordable by awarding millions of dollars in scholarships, which is especially important during this period of high unemployment, when some families are struggling with college expenses.”
The 2020 freshman cohort totaled 195 students, with 164 transfer students welcomed to campus. The top majors for the incoming class include Nursing, Health & Human Performance, Education, Business, and Dental Hygiene. The school also continues to serve students who are the first in their family to attend college, with 39% of the undergraduate population identifying as first-generation students.