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Local colleges expect to see freshman enrollment to rise

Emory & Henry College officials said Monday they expect to welcome the largest incoming class in the school’s 185-year history this fall and officials with other colleges in the area are also expecting healthy numbers.

A total of 467 incoming students have deposited funds for the fall semester, including 392 first-year students, 44 transfer students and 13 international students at the college in Emory, Virginia.

This marks a 63 percent increase over the fall 2020 semester for first-year students and the largest residential student body in its history, including more than 650 returning students, according to a release issued Monday.

“This increase in new student enrollment indicates that students recognize the value and affordability of an Emory & Henry education,” said E&H President John W. Wells.

King University

At King University in Bristol, Tennessee, classes start Aug. 23 and enrollment numbers are expected to remain steady for incoming freshmen, said Jon Harr, vice president for enrollment.

“We always have a lot of movement at the end of the recruiting cycle, at the end of the last two or three weeks,” Harr said.

In all, King is expected to enroll about 1,600 students – down from previous highs of about 1850, according to Harr.

The decrease is expected in adult students – not freshmen or transfer students, he said.

The freshman class and transfer students are expected to be about 225, according to Harr.

“That’s a bit of an increase for us,’ he said.

The numbers were down during the COVID-19 pandemic in the fall of 2020. But this fall, Harr said, “It looks like we’re going to be back to a normal trend.”

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise

Freshmen counts are also up at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Wise, Virginia.

This year’s fall enrollment could be as high as 349 freshmen, said Chris Dearth, the school’s vice chancellor for enrollment management.

“In overall enrollment, we’re doing pretty well,” said Dearth.

This year’s freshmen count is “running about 22 percent ahead of our five-year average with regards to freshmen,” Dearth said.

Transfer admissions have “been a little bit slow but still in a pretty good place,” Dearth said.

Freshmen classes usually average about 285 students, according to Dearth.

Transfer students usually total about 79 per year. This year’s count is 86, he said.

Overall enrollment will be about 1,199 undergraduate students, Dearth said.


Officials at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City also anticipate an increase in freshman enrollment and a jump in the number of transfer students, said university spokesman Joseph E. Smith.

Combined, this year’s full-time freshmen and transfer students total 1,231, Smith said.

“But it is a little soon to know what the final headcount will be,” Smith said. “Even the first week of school, we see numbers change.”

“This year, we anticipate enrollment will be flat or up,” he said.

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