Editor's Note: This story has been revised to correct some errors in some of the enrollment numbers previously reported in this March 13 news story.
The class of 2022 was the second-biggest in Taylor history, with 519 freshman and 39 transfer students in the incoming class. However, this coming fall Taylor intends to see those record-high numbers again. The largest class was in 2018, with 531 incoming freshman.
“The current enrollment data and the deposits would predict that we could break that record. If we had to predict today, we would probably predict 535-ish,” said Holly Whitby, vice president for Enrollment and Marketing.
In order to accommodate a larger incoming class this fall, there have been preparations for students and staff for this sudden population influx. The academics staff is now planning the number of general education sources that will need to be offered and how to best accommodate new students.
Staff are beginning to navigate the struggle of general education courses with having few professors and many new students.
“We are meeting regularly with partners from across campus to make sure that we land this large class well,” said Andy Gammons, executive director of admissions. “It is our top priority to always serve all of our students in the best way possible.”
The admissions office is already preparing events for spring of 2024, showing their dedication to serving students well.
With the incoming classes of 2020 and 2021 being lower than average because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this larger incoming class is a welcomed breath of fresh air for students and staff on the Taylor campus. At this time, incoming college students were less likely to schedule college visits or just take a year off from schooling altogether. This in turn means historically low new student enrollment, Whitby said.
“We anticipate this class being one of the largest in Taylor’s history,” Gammons said. “This is because students and families are seeing how amazing this academic community is and want to be a part of it.”
The academic community that Taylor offers is a unique opportunity for incoming students. Students want to be a part of the academic community, as well the intentional community of fellow believers Whitby said.
“The current group of students are strong academically, they love Jesus Christ and they want to be a part of an intentional community where deep relationships are built,” Gammons said.
In addition to the opportunities that Taylor brings to incoming students, the hospitality offered by Taylor students and staff is rarely paralleled at similar institutions throughout the state or country. Whitby said this includes many events throughout the year for new and incoming students and ways for prospective students to stay connected throughout their college decision journey.
Because of more institutional marketing as well as many changes in staff, Taylor has become more popular in the past few years, inspiring larger class sizes.
“There's a lot of clarity around who Taylor is,” Whitby said. “There’s amazing word of mouth. The networking is very strong for Taylor in terms of families bringing their students to visit Taylor.”
She also said one of the most vulnerable times for Taylor staff and students are the 24 at Taylor visits, when prospective students spend the night in a residence hall with a host to get to know the Taylor community.
Although Taylor is vulnerable in these moments, the welcoming attitude shown toward prospective students and their families is one that is not easily forgotten.
“I think the best marketing for Taylor is our current student body,” Whitby said. “There is no amount of marketing dollars that I could spend that would come close to making the impact on enrollment that would outweigh a student body that loves Taylor and talks about Taylor to their friends.”