news-category: Admissions

Gardner-Webb Welcomes Fourth Largest Freshmen Class in School History

Four GWU students stand at GWU's main gate welcoming new students to campus

Class of 2024 Began Their First Fall Semester on Aug. 19

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Earlier this week, Gardner-Webb University welcomed the fourth largest freshmen class in school history. The 469 members of the Class of 2024 began their first fall semester on Aug. 19. Gardner-Webb’s total fall enrollment—in undergraduate, Degree Completion and graduate programs—is approximately 3,500, with nearly 1,200 students living on campus.

“We’re excited for these new Runnin’ Bulldogs to join us, and we have great things in store for them,” noted Gardner-Webb President Dr. William M. Downs. “Their GWU journey is just beginning, and we commit to making it an exceptional and rewarding experience.”

Welcome new students sign

Downs pointed to several reasons for the record enrollment, including the Board of Trustees commitment to freeze tuition for a second year in a row and the diligent work of the GWU enrollment and marketing teams. “In the crowded marketplace of colleges and universities, Gardner-Webb is standing apart from our competitors who continually raise the cost burden on students,” Downs observed. “Most importantly, we are doing this without compromising the outstanding quality of instruction and the world-class caliber of our degree programs.”

While holding the line on tuition costs, several other financial incentives were offered, such as the Foothills Commitment to residents of Cleveland, Gaston and Rutherford counties, and the expansion of church-matching and minister’s dependent scholarships. The University also instituted a tuition freeze for students in Gardner-Webb’s Degree Completion Program and began an aggressive marketing campaign to increase transfer enrollment by offering free room and board to students transferring from a four-year college.

new student unloading trunk

“We targeted specific communities and regions in the southeast with financial incentives and especially transfer options,” said Vice President of Marketing Richard McDevitt. “We believed in the current environment that students and families would be looking for options for their undergraduate experience. We have been very pleased with the results, especially in our transfer numbers, which are up substantially.”

Additionally, the GWU faculty approved a revision of the general education requirements. The restructured curriculum reduces the number of required credit hours by a third, creating a more transfer-friendly pathway, opening space for most students to pursue a minor, and reducing the time to graduation for everyone. “Gardner-Webb now has a core that prepares every student for the key skills that society demands: critical thinking, effective communication, and the ability to solve complex problems while working in teams,” Downs observed. “As we move deeper into the 21st century’s third decade, a generation of future Runnin’ Bulldogs will be that much better prepared to make positive and lasting differences for their professions and for their communities.”

For more information about Gardner-Webb Admissions, email [email protected] or call 800-253-6472.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu. 

student at check-in table

Previous News Article

Gardner-Webb Community Welcomes New Students to Campus

Next News Article

GWU 10-Month Master of Business Administration Program Has Record Growth

Related News

  • News Article

    Members of Gardner-Webb’s Concert Choir Ready for Trip and D-Day Observance

    GWU is the Only N.C. College Invited to Perform in 80th Anniversary Concert in Abbaye-aux-Hommes BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb Department of Music started making plans last year for its trip to France to perform during the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Soon, the many hours of practice and preparation will be rewarded as 16 students and […]

  • News Article

    Gardner-Webb Computer Science Major Andrew Cook, ’24, Enjoys a Challenge

    Exploring Software Engineering Prepares Students for Digital Landscape BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Computer science 2024 alumnus Andrew Cook enrolled at Gardner-Webb University, because he is passionate about the evolving nature of technology and the impact it has on society. He also knew the quality of the program, because his brother and father graduated from GWU with degrees […]

    computer code
  • News Article

    Gardner-Webb Remembers Lives of Fallen Service Members During Memorial Day Observance on May 24

    Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. John Whitaker Relates Story of Sacrifice BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University faculty and staff, along with members of the community, gathered in front of Hamrick Hall on May 24 to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives serving their country. In his speech, retired U.S. Air Force Master […]

    The audience listens to the speaker for memorial day