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Williams Notches 10% Enrollment Gain


Fall enrollment on the Williams Baptist College campus has hit its highest level in recent history, according to figures released by the school. Williams experienced a 10 percent enrollment jump on its Walnut Ridge campus, which included big increases across the board for the four-year, liberal arts college.

WBC’s on-campus enrollment stands at 569 this fall, up 10 percent from last year’s count of 518. The figure is the highest in four decades for WBC, and one of the highest in the entire history of the school.

"These are very exciting numbers. We were pleased with our enrollment last fall, so to surpass that so handily this year was really an accomplishment," said Williams President Jerol Swaim.

The college reported increases in both new and returning students. There are 159 freshman, setting a modern record for the college. The total count of new students, which includes freshmen, transfers and re-admitted students, stands at 236, which is a 15.7 percent increase over last year.

The number of returning students also made a significant climb. There are 331 returners on the Walnut Ridge campus this fall, a 6.8 percent increase over 2009.

Housing numbers rose to what is believed to be an all-time high. Williams has 394 students living in its dorms and apartments this year, up 9.7 percent over last year. Some 70 percent of WBC’s students now live on campus.

"We are nearing capacity in our residence halls. We are currently looking at the options for increasing capacity, but the students have been very cooperative in dealing with the increased numbers. They seem to be having a really good experience this fall," Swaim commented.

Overall, counting on-campus numbers and two off-campus extensions, 636 students are enrolled at Williams this fall, which is up from 615 last year.

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