This semester, California Baptist University has seen its largest enrollment numbers ever. According to Taylor Neece, dean of Admissions, the current student enrollment is 11,317 students. This is slightly larger than last fall’s enrollment of 11,045 students.
Although enrollment grew this year, it was affected to some extent by COVID-19. The pandemic impacted enrollment due to factors such as economic hardship that some students may be facing and the school’s inability to offer fully in-person instruction due to state public health guidelines.
“We believe CBU enrollment can keep growing,” said Neece. “Expanded academic program offerings for all three levels, (including) undergraduate, graduate and Online and Professional Studies, will attract more students to CBU. Also, the Inland Empire continues to experience rapid population growth, which will lead to an opportunity to expose more students to CBU.”
Neece said there are many reasons the university is seeing an increase in enrollment.
“I think CBU is continuing to grow because we have good academics and good athletics, which I believe are two important things that students look for when looking for colleges,” said Olivia Cortes, junior public health major.
With the rapid growth that CBU is experiencing, there is a possibility that issues will arise. Some of these potential issues consist of not enough classrooms, housing or dining options. However, CBU is doing everything it can to manage these potential issues.
“The growth is great, but it also means we must expand our infrastructure,” Neece said. “Luckily, we have been able to add significant infrastructures including housing, food services, athletic facilities and classroom space over the years. Our goal is to stay small as we grow big. CBU is in a unique position in that we offer the facilities, amenities and programs of a large thriving Division I institution with the personal care, attention and community of a tight-knit Christian university.”
Tyler Carlisle, senior mechanical engineering major, has seen CBU grow over his past four years here.
“I have been able to see CBU adapt to the growing enrollment over my time here,” Carlisle said. “CBU has made new housing, created more food options on campus, made a large parking structure and made a new engineering building all to make more students fit on campus.”
Neece believes it is important for CBU to continue to grow in the future.
“As a university committed to the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20), enrollment growth represents a greater opportunity for God to use CBU to impact the lives of more and more students,” Neece said. “The more students that attend CBU, the greater opportunity.”