In its 150th year, Freed-Hardeman University is celebrating more than its history. This fall’s numbers show another year of record enrollment, according to FHU President David R. Shannon. Total head count for the Fall 2019 semester stands at a record-breaking 2,117 students, an increase of 100 over last year.
The undergraduate total of 1,648 is also an all-time high, boosted by a 6.5 percent increase in first-time, full-time freshmen. In addition, new partnerships for dual enrollment added 81 students to that program. The fall-to-fall retention rate for first-time freshmen rose to 83 percent, another institutional high. The retention rate for all students was 85 percent. The five-year graduation rate of 63 percent set another institutional record.
FHU traces its history to a school established in 1869 in Henderson. “We are grateful that a century and half later, a record number of students are seeking an excellent Christian education and thriving at FHU,” Shannon said. “It’s not just the numbers, though; we are excited to support these new FHU family members, as they develop academically, relationally and spiritually. Seeing their academic strength and spiritual character grow as they interact with our highly equipped faculty and staff is inspiring.”
Shannon went on to describe the university’s current state, as he said, “Where are we at this moment? We stand on FHU’s rich, 150-year heritage to reach toward a higher ceiling of future opportunities. While we optimistically believe there has never been a better time to be part of the FHU family, we also know that the best is yet to come.” Shannon closed by declaring, “We deeply thank God for blessing us.”
Dave Clouse, vice president for community engagement, said, “This year’s growth is a testament to the great leadership and team in enrollment management, the cooperation and hard work of the entire campus in serving students, and God’s blessing our efforts to nourish the God-given talents of those entrusted to us.”
The full-time equivalency enrollment (FTE) of 1,506, an increase of 83 students or 5.5 percent, is an all-time high. The total number of credit hours being taken also reached a new institutional record. Having 1,124 students (39 more than last year) living in the dorm and creating life-long memories and friendships adds to the energy on campus, also.