Cumberland University Bucks Higher Education Trends With Record Enrollment

Cumberland Students Group

After Census Day, Cumberland University announced the largest enrollment in its 182-year history with 3,072 students, an increase of over 18.7% from 2,588 students last fall. Cumberland’s previous record enrollment stood at 2,704 in 2020. 

During a time when colleges and universities across the nation are seeing a decline in enrollment, Cumberland is defying odds by continuing to attract and retain a variety of students. Record enrollment was achieved for many types of students at the university including transfer students, Tennessee Reconnect students, graduate students and dual enrollment students. 

Vice President for Enrollment Services, Reggie Blair, noted some of the factors that contributed to record enrollment, attributing it partly to Cumberland’s commitment to continually expanding its programs and course offerings to meet the needs of students and remain competitive in today’s market.

“By expanding graduate program offerings to include STEM-related areas and fields like Forensic Psychology and IT Management, we are reaching new populations of students. We have also focused on improving dual enrollment partnerships with local high schools across the state, prioritized streamlining the admissions process, and intentionally reinforced our faculty and staff’s commitment to supporting student success.”

Located just 25 miles east of Nashville, Lebanon is home to Cumberland University and growing quickly along with other Nashville suburbs. 

“The university has recently seen a significant influx of newcomers to our Middle Tennessee region who want a personalized educational experience,” said University President Paul C. Stumb. “Parents of high school students are seeking ways to optimize their student’s education through programs like Dual Enrollment and Early College. Cumberland University is growing for many reasons, including our robust financial aid and program offerings; however, I attribute the growth to our community of caring faculty and staff who help attract and retain intellectually-curious students who want to align their passions with a meaningful career.”

According to a recent public opinion survey, 74% of college-age Tennesseans believe higher education is valuable, but show concerns about affordability. Among those Tennesseans who have not made up their minds or do not plan to pursue a post-secondary education, the majority report improved personal finances would make them more likely to attend.

With this research in mind, Cumberland has been a proud participant in two-year, tuition-free programs such as Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect since 2015, allowing more college-age students and adult learners to obtain an Associate degree both on-campus or online. Additionally, because of Cumberland’s generous donors, the university offers over 99% of its students financial aid to ensure affordable educational opportunities are available to them, making it more likely for Tennesseans to earn a post-secondary education.

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