This fall, Taylor is welcoming 403 freshmen to campus, 10 percent of whom have never visited campus.
Following two abnormal school years amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor administration anticipated a smaller incoming freshmen class for the 2021-2022 school year.
“We budgeted for a smaller class, in particular due to the pandemic but also recognizing that in the near future the size of the high school graduating classes is expected to decline,” Stephen Olson, vice president for business and chief financial officer said. “However, two years in a row of significantly smaller classes is not optimal for Taylor.”
As a result, the administration is making an effort to recruit larger class sizes, not only to be able to provide better resources to campus as a whole, but also because they want more students to receive a Taylor education that allows them to live lives of Christian service.
Olson cites a variety of factors for this reduced class size, with the predominant contributor being the ongoing pandemic that has caused financial, emotional and educational strain on families across the country. Concern for health and financial status have prevented many students from pursuing higher education.
Additionally, Taylor had to alter their typical recruitment practices resulting in incoming students being unable to experience overnight visits at Taylor, meals in the Dining Commons and regular class visits.
As a result, about 40 students in the class of 2025 have never visited campus, Olson said.
Nevertheless, they still boast an impressive record with an average GPA of 3.9, in spite of having nearly two full years of their high school experience be entirely or partially virtual. Olson believes this to be the highest GPA of any incoming freshmen class in the last decade.
The class also hails from 26 different states and 11 countries, while also representing 78 unique majors.
“We are so glad (the freshmen) are here to share life together with us in Upland,” Olson said. “There is a lot to participate in … find ways to integrate your academic work, service, and discipleship to draw closer to Jesus … spend time with friends but be sure to focus on classes; attend an event that would be outside of your normal go-to activity and don’t forget to pay your bill!”