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  • By Alyssa L. Brennan

CCU reports record-breaking numbers in freshman class

Coastal Carolina University was prepared for a large freshman class this year, meaning resources were not stretched thin due to the number of acceptances. Photo courtesy of Alyssa L. Brennan.

With a total of 2,518 incoming students, the freshman class of Fall 2021 is the largest in Coastal Carolina University’s history.

University administrators said despite record freshman enrollment, the amount of student resources remains unaffected.

Vice President for Student Success James Solazzo said the freshman class size should have no negative impacts on the amount of campus resources available to each student.

“The good news is financially, no issues. The amount of money we have really is based on the number of students. So, financial aid, tuition, room and board, and things of that nature, shouldn’t be, at least for this semester, directly affected by the number of students,” he said.

Solazzo said English 101 classes are usually capped at about 20 students, and even with the number of incoming students this semester, the small class sizes remained unaffected.

Freshman Rue Blaine, who is currently in an English 101 course, said this has been his experience.

“Everything has been good. No problems. My classes have been smaller [than 20 students],” Blaine said.

Solazzo said there is reasoning behind this sudden increase in applications and acceptances.

“One thing is, we had a spectacular year last year in football, and folks in the United States really love college football. The football team being undefeated, up until the bowl game was exciting for people. And, then at the same time, we had a new president coming in who is very outgoing, interested in meeting the students, making videos, and reaching out to people,” he said.

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Amanda Craddock said past class sizes, and enrollment numbers during the COVID pandemic also played a role.

“Prior to this year, the largest freshmen class was in Fall 2017. Most of those students graduated this past May, and the freshmen classes after Fall 2017 were smaller. This means that we have a smaller group of continuing students (sophomore, juniors, and seniors),” Craddock said.

With a smaller group of continuing students, and lower enrollment last year due to COVID-19, the total enrollment is up by four percent. Vice President for Executive Initiatives and Chief of Staff Travis Overton said this is an exciting time for CCU.

“When students are choosing Coastal to be the place they go, that’s an exciting thing because that means the individuals are deciding that this a place they want to call their home. And, we want to make sure we are able to support them in that decision,” he said.

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