Lee News

Lee Announces Strong Fall Enrollment

Lee University's fall enrollment was boosted by a "strong upsurge" of incoming freshmen, closing registration last week with an overall enrollment of 5041 students.

Freshman enrollment is up 10 percent over last year, according to Phil Cook, vice president for enrollment. Eight hundred thirty five full-time freshmen signed up for classes this fall, compared to 756 last year. Along with the growth, this year's freshman class is also the most academically talented in Lee's history, Cook said, with the average ACT score moving above 24 to a record high. (The average for all high school students in Tennessee this year is 19.8.)

"This is truly extraordinary," said Lee president Dr. Paul Conn about the gains in Lee's incoming freshman class. "With all the emphasis this year on community colleges, Tennessee Promise, and the lower cost of state institutions, we had braced ourselves for a potential downturn in our freshman class, but we've had just the reverse. A 10 percent increase in freshmen is such an exciting positive sign of our popularity among students and families looking for an enriched college experience."

The big freshman class gives Lee another year of growth in its "core population of on-campus, for-credit students.” Cook explained that the total enrollment of 5041 includes "about a thousand" students who take courses in various types of nontraditional ways, including an online Division of Adult Learning, the popular Encore program for senior citizens, and dual enrollment classes for local high school students. One hundred eight students are studying in one of Lee's three international sites in Germany, Ecuador, and Guatemala.

Lee maintains 17 on-campus dorms with 2,000 beds, Cook said. "Once again, we are maxed out in our female housing, and our overall dormitory occupancy rate is over 97 percent, which is our target rate." Cook explained that a few students who were temporarily housed in a local hotel during registration and the first week of classes have now all been moved into dorms.

Lee's student population now includes 58 percent female and 42 percent male students. Students are at Lee this fall from 49 states (only Utah is missing), with Tennessee the leading state by a wide margin. Two hundred twenty six students come from outside the U.S., with Nigeria the most common country of origin.

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