Cumberland University officials released record-breaking enrollment numbers this week for the fall 2016 semester. The student population now stands at 1,963.
The dramatic increase in enrollment is attributed to the university's concentrated efforts in attracting Tennessee Promise students, community college transfer students, dual enrollment students, expanding sports offerings, as well as a partnership with Equal Chance for Education.
Cumberland is also one of a few private universities in the state participating in Tennessee Promise, and the only one which offers an associate degree tuition-free. In its second year of participation, CU is ranks second in the state for retention of Tennessee Promise students.
The university's total enrollment number is 27 percent higher than the fall 2015 semester and is comprised of 1,542 full-time students and 421 part-time students. CU's residence halls are at near capacity with 505 students living on campus.
"This is historical growth for Cumberland University, not only in the number of students, but we've also hired 13 new full-time faculty members. We are committed to improving infrastructure and the quality of our infrastructure," CU President Dr. Paul Stumb said in a statement issued by the university.
Beyond enrollment growth, retaining students will be key to the university's health, he added.
"We have worked tirelessly on enrollment, and now we have an opportunity to shine with student retention. By engaging them on multiple levels, providing a high quality, personalized experience and maintaining our family atmosphere with a focus on character, we have the foundation that will carry Cumberland University into the next 175 years," Stumb said.