Despite a challenging higher education environment due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, Central Baptist College saw a 1.1 percent increase in the traditional student population for the Fall 2020 semester. Additionally, the College reported a 3.6 percent increase in first time entering students (includes first time entering freshmen, transfer students, re-admitted students, and transient students) and an increase in the incoming freshmen class.

“The Admissions and Registration teams did an outstanding job of bringing in the 2020 class, which is the highest since 2018,” said Ryan Johnson, Vice President for Enrollment Management. The freshman class, comprised of first time entering new students, came in at 121 students, up from 103 first time entering new students for the Fall of 2019. This constitutes an increase of 17.4 percent. The returning student population in the traditional program was just one off of last year’s number and continues a five-year trend of consistent return percentages of approximately 70 percent of spring students returning in the fall.

Despite the strong enrollment for the traditional program, overall enrollment for the institution decreased by 11.3 percent. Total enrollment on the tenth day of classes was reported as 607 students compared to 685 in the Fall of 2019. The enrollment decrease was due to a decrease in both the Professional Adult College Education (PACE) Program and high school concurrent students. The institution planned and budgeted for a significant decrease in total enrollment due to the uncertainty surrounding the start of the fall semester caused by the COVID-19 global health pandemic.

Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrow added, “I am excited as we look to the Fall of 2021. The increases in new student enrollment and the consistency in the return percentage in the traditional program confirm that students are seeking an institution of higher education that focuses on the integration of Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment, which is the heart of the mission of CBC. We are currently evaluating the PACE adult education program to determine why we are seeing decreases in that area of enrollment. PACE is a unique program that has provided an education for countless individuals who can’t obtain a college degree in a traditional manner.”

“The Admissions team is already hard at work to recruit a strong 2021 class,” said Johnson. “They are on the road attending recruiting events, hosting in person and virtual personal campus visit experiences, and are planning for the campuses’ first in person Stampede Preview Day of 2020 scheduled for October 7.” Prospective students can register to attend one of four upcoming Stampede Preview Days at cbc.edu/stampede. The college has also started accepting applications for fall 2021 admission for the traditional program, and there are eight enrollment periods throughout the academic year for the PACE Program. Students can begin the admissions process for both programs by visiting cbc.edu/apply.

Central Baptist College recently announced its inclusion on the 2021 list of Best Regional Colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Central Baptist College ranked 63rd on the 2021 list. In addition to be being included on the list of Best Regional Colleges in the South, Central Baptist College was also ranked 24th on the list of Top Performers of Social Mobility Regional Colleges-South.

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