Enrollment at Florida Christian HBCU Skyrockets

For the first time in more than two decades enrollment at Edward Waters University, a Florida based Christian college affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, exceeds 1,000 students.

According to the registrar’s office at the school, the Fall 2021 semester has seen a 14% increase in the enrollment rate of students, capping enrollment at 1,104 students. Additionally, this year the university welcomed its largest freshman class on record totaling 531 new students. This has resulted in a 50% in enrollment at the university since 2019 and a 27% increase since 2020.

President of Edward Waters University, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr. said, “This tremendous development for our university is further evidence of our continuing advancement and forward movement as a ‘destination institution’ of choice amongst parents and prospective students who are increasingly selecting Edward Waters for their higher educational future.”  

Further, the President’s Office reported that the school has reached a milestone retention rate of more than 80% of its students returning. (The retention rate had declined due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, a trend that has been seen across institutions of higher learning.)

“We’re equally ecstatic that this year’s enrollment outcome is also indicative of substantial progress being made towards enhancing the retention of our Tiger students as this latest overall enrollment effort indicates that we were successful in retaining nearly 80% of our students from spring 2021 to fall 2021,” President Faison stated.  

Edward Waters University has the distinct honor of being not only the Sunshine State’s first HBCU (historically black college or university) but the first private university founded in the state.

Named in honor of the late Bishop Edward Water (s-s), Waters was instrumental in helping lead the United States oldest independent African American denomination in the United States during the pre-Civil War years.

A staunch abolitionist and promoter of Methodist polity among freed and enslaved persons Waters believed that the discipline offered by the Methodist Church could provide a road map to respectability for people of color living in the United States. A prolific church planter and organizer of annual conferences, administrators in Florida named the school in his honor in the immediate aftermath of the American Civil War hoping that his legacy would inspire students to reach new heights “for the race.”

Source: Christian Recorder