One University That Isn’t Cutting Costs

(Photo: Taber Andrew Bain)

A Washington Post profile of Liberty University, founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, says that Liberty has doubled its enrollment in the last six years:

The surging enrollment for a bastion of Christian conservatism in the central Virginia foothills highlights the school as a market leader at the crossroads of religion and higher education. Liberty figured out how to recruit masses of students via the Internet years before elite universities began ballyhooed experiments with free online courses.

Turbocharged growth inevitably raises questions about quality, and Liberty’s academic reputation has not risen as fast as its enrollment. About 47 percent of its first-time, full-time students graduate within six years, federal data show, below the national average of 58 percent. Liberty officials say such statistics reflect an admissions policy geared more toward opportunity than exclusivity.

And Liberty is doing well on the finance front too: “The university ended 2012 with more than $1 billion in net assets for the first time, counting cash, property, investments and other holdings. That is 10 times what the school had in 2006.”

(HT: Marginal Revolution)

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  1. Pdubble says:

    I’ve had several coworkers get advanced degrees from Liberty. It does have the positive political aspect going for it if you are right wing Christian, but it also works very hard to make sure it is easy to go there. Until Tuition Assistance was ended by the military, Liberty was one of the few known universities that offered numerous undergraduate and graduate programs for JUST tuition assistance money, so no money out of pocket. It really has a for-profit mentality while offering a not for profit degree.

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  2. Erik Jensen says:

    This college offers a minor in “creation science” which includes “scientific… arguments in favor of creation.” I’m wondering what those are, as none have been forthcoming in 150+ years of popular resistance to evolutionary science. “Creation science” consists of a mix of arguments based on the authority of scripture and incorrect arguments against evolution. http://www.liberty.edu/academics/arts-sciences/creation/

    Liberty University’s financial success shows that people are willing to pay to hear what they want to hear rather than being challenged in their world views.

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