Enrollment Decrease Blamed On Athletics Change - Brevard, NC


September 28, 2017

Brevard College was recently contacted about its student enrollment and other related issues.

Leigh Evans, the college’s director of communications and media relations, provided the responses.

Question: What are the Brevard College enrollment numbers from the past five years?

Answer: In 2013, enrollment was 701. It increased 4 percent by 2015 to 729, dropped to 704 in 2016, and this year is 675.

The Brevard College story is about more than the numbers. The distinctive learning experience is truly that. And, of course, it’s not the path for everyone. Brevard College’s recruitment and retention philosophy is about identifying those students who will thrive in this environment and who respond to an interactive learning approach. We don’t just put a degree in their hands – we develop their ability and passion to make a difference in the world.

Q: What, if any, impact has the college’s decision to go from NCAA Division II to III had on enrollment?

A: The shift to Division III had more of an impact on retention than new student enrollment.

The drops in overall enrollment since 2015 can be attributed to the shift from DII to DIII. While we take all changes in metrics seriously, we can report stronger returns locally. By broadening our reach through increased academic scholarships we are working to ensure we attract the best-fit students who will not only succeed but thrive at Brevard College.

By way of background, DIII schools do not offer athletic scholarships, and while they may have a lower level of competition, they have the highest number of overall participants across all divisions. DIII schools offer an average of 18 sports per school. Brevard has 18 NCAA DIII sports teams and three non-NCAA teams, with nearly 60 percent of the current student population participating in athletics.

Q: Are there particularly areas — freshman class, etc. —were the college is seeing increasing/decreasing numbers?

A: Yes, we saw an uptick in both first year and transfer students this year as compared to last year. The number of new students we enrolled for the current academic year was up 11 percent from the same time last year.

Q: Has the college’s recruitment efforts changed over the years? If so, how?

A: We have put a strong emphasis on recruiting students who are a good fit for Brevard College.

The type of students who find success at Brevard are those who embrace the experiential, hands-on model, paired with small class size that will provide resumé-building opportunities during their college career.

They also tend to be involved in multiple activities on campus such as clubs, organizations, athletics, etc.

Over the last couple of years we have also done more to offer local counties competitive scholarship opportunities with our half-tuition scholarship.

This year we are expanding it even further west to include all of the Western North Carolina mountain counties in the hopes of making college more affordable for students from those areas.

Q: What is your retention rate?

A: First year to second year retention rate for fall 2016 was nearly 53 percent, up from 48 percent in fall 2015.

Q: What is the breakdown of the student body — female to male, in state, out of state, international?

A: Women to men: 45:55 ratio. In-state: 56 percent, out-of-state, 40 percent, international, 4 percent.

Q: What are the most popular majors?

A: The most popular majors are business and organizational leadership, criminal justice, exercise science, and wilderness leadership and experiential education. Our fine arts programs in music, art and theater also make up a significant part of our student population’s declared majors.

Q: Does the college have an enrollment number goal? If so, what is it?

A: Our “stretch target” for enrollment is 850. This number still allows us to remain student focused, continue our small average class size and maintain a beneficial teacher to student ratio.

Q: What are the current yearly tuition costs for students?

A: $28,400.

More information may be found at http://www.brevard.edu.


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