Enrollment is Up as Classes Begin at Mars Hill College

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For Immediate Release
August 21, 2012

Teresa Buckner
Media Relations Coordinator

As the 2012-13 academic year began on Tuesday, Mars Hill College welcomed a record-setting student body that was 7% larger than last year at this time, and nearly 20% higher than two years ago.   

The 1152 students who are currently registered for traditional classes (excluding adult and graduate studies) represent Mars Hill’s highest enrollment in over 30 years.  Of the 1152 total, 617 are continuing students who are returning after at least one semester at Mars Hill.  Students new to Mars Hill number 535, including 441 freshmen.   

Together with students in Mars Hill Adult and Graduate Studies (which includes two ongoing cohorts of masters-level students), total enrollment at Mars Hill as of Tuesday, is 1396. 

Dr. John Wells, Executive Vice President, credits the rise in enrollment to a number of initiatives undertaken in recent years through a strategic planning process. Chief among those strategies is more efficient admissions and financial aid processes. 

“We are trying to make private higher education affordable for the families of the area by using the financial aid award process to maximize opportunities,” Wells said.  “Also, by streamlining processes for both admissions and financial aid, we deliver more information to potential students quicker. That information then paves the way for students to choose Mars Hill.”   

Other recent initiatives at Mars Hill College are designed to keep students engaged in a vibrant educational and social experience on campus. In the past three years, Mars Hill has revised orientation to emphasize student involvement on campus, used grant funds to emphasize undergraduate research, added significant resources to the student activities budget and hired additional faculty positions to maintain small class sizes, especially in freshman classes.  

In addition, in anticipation of the students currently arriving, Mars Hill College has spent the summer increasing the number of student rooms available for residence on campus. 

“Currently, we are responding to the increased enrollment by expanding and upgrading residence halls on campus, and we have plans for more, continued growth,” Wells said. 

Dr. Craig Goforth, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, echoed Wells’ assertion that multiple factors have contributed to the increase.  “This record-setting enrollment is due to our wonderful location, and a herculean team effort on the part of faculty, staff and administration.  We’re looking forward to this academic year, and we’re excited about welcoming these students into the Mars Hill family.” 

Mars Hill College is a private, liberal arts institution offering over 30 baccalaureate degrees and one graduate degree in elementary education. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, the campus is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville in the mountains of western North Carolina.www.mhc.edu  1-866-MHC-4-YOU.

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