Bethany Lutheran College’s enrollment for fall 2020 has set an all-time high. Combining recent, consecutive years of large first-year classes with a historically-high retention of upper-class students, Bethany’s full-time, traditional enrollment now stands at 633 students.
Bethany Lutheran College President Gene Pfeifer said, “We’re pleased that Bethany’s overall enrollment remains on a growth pattern that began several years ago and continues this fall. While the first-year class was down slightly, it was not unexpected during the pandemic. Bethany’s mission is deliberately focused on personal mentoring directed by Christian values. This philosophy guides the College to meet students’ needs both while they are on campus and as alumni. We believe this student-first emphasis, combined with a small, safe campus atmosphere are key factors in today’s strong retention numbers and enrollment growth at Bethany.”
Bethany’s retention of first-year and upper-class students has moved forward consistently for the past several years. The retention rate for the class of 2023 (the Fall 2019 first-year class) is 87%. Retention for upper-division classes was also historically strong.
In addition to the traditional, on campus programs, Bethany also offers online college courses for high school students. This fall, 133 high school students are taking courses through Bethany’s Dual Credit and Post-Secondary Enrollment Option programs. Both programs allow qualified students to earn high school and college course credit simultaneously. Bethany has also focused recruitment efforts on increasing international student enrollment. Bethany’s international student enrollment includes 92 students from 26 countries. All of these factors combined pushed the total number of students enrolled at Bethany to a new record of 778.