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Liberty University surpasses 100k online students

Liberty University announced Tuesday that it has surpassed 100,000 online students. The Lynchburg-based university’s previous online enrollment record was 98,000 students in 2014, and as of January 2020, it remained the state’s largest university by enrollment.

“Liberty has been a leader in providing distance education as an alternative to the traditional classroom since the mid-1980s,” Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a statement. “Meeting this enrollment goal at this time shows that our programs remain an attractive option for working adults who need the flexibility, convenience, and affordability that our online programs provide.”

The private Christian university’s distance learning program started in 1985 when the university’s School of Lifelong Learning started offering mail-order courses through VHS tapes. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Liberty began offering its programs online.

Liberty now has 450 of its academic programs online, ranging from undergraduate to doctoral degree offerings.

“I remember stepping into this role in 2005 when we were excited to enroll 9,000 online students,” Ron Kennedy, executive vice president for enrollment management and marketing, said in a statement. “We made it our mission to meet people’s needs — giving them affordable tuition so that as many people as possible could benefit from a Christ-centered education.”

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