Online program boosts Liberty University’s growth

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A swelling online program has made Liberty University one of the largest schools in the country.

Liberty is now the nation’s eighth-largest four-year university and the largest four-year private, nonprofit university, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. It is also the world’s largest Christian university. Liberty was ranked 25th among four-year universities in 2009. In 2000, the overall enrollment was only 8,606.

Liberty currently has 64,610 students, making it the largest four-year college in Virginia. Liberty University Online accounted for 54,278 of those students. George Mason University, the second-largest college in Virginia, has 39,977 students.

Liberty recently sold $120 million in bonds to fund a substantial increase in the school’s physical plant. It has also expanded its online offerings to include bilingual programs for the growing population of Hispanic students.

Jerry Falwell Jr., university chancellor, said in a statement that he would like to see Liberty’s resident enrollment grow to 20,000 in the next decade. Resident enrollment is currently 12,805. 

Liberty, which is located in Lynchburg, was founded in 1971 and participates in NCAA Division 1 athletics.     

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