Palm Beach Atlantic welcomed the largest incoming class in its 54-year history, with 844 new undergraduates arriving this fall and bringing the university’s total enrollment to 3,829.
Of the new students, 693 are freshmen and 151 are transfer students, according to Dr. Nancy Brainard, vice president for enrollment management. This is the university’s largest entering class, as well as the largest freshman class, she said.
President Dr. Debra A. Schwinn credited the growth to the university’s Christ-first mission and an increase in the bachelor’s degree programs offered.
“I’m grateful to Nancy and her team for their hard work recruiting students who are a good mission-fit for Palm Beach Atlantic,” Schwinn said. “Our robust enrollment demonstrates the demand for a liberal arts education that prepares students to be innovative thinkers, problem-solvers and servant leaders.”
Added Brainard, ““This growth helps PBA fulfill the vision of preparing students from around the globe to tackle the problems of their day with godly character, open arms and a servant’s heart. I’m excited to see the difference these students will make in their communities, nation and world when they graduate.”
Between the academic years of 2008-09 and 2022-23, the number of bachelor’s degree programs increased by 49 percent. In the same time period, the number of graduate degree programs increased from four to 18, a 350 percent increase, according to Carolanne Brown, assistant provost for institutional effectiveness. The university recently added its first Ph.D. program, which is in practical theology.
The most popular majors university-wide are nursing, biology, psychology, management, marketing, exercise science, exploratory, business administration, finance and communication.
Students self-report ethnicity. Fifty-three percent of the student body identifies as white. Eighteen percent identifies as Hispanic, and 9 percent identifies as Black or African American. A little more than 2 percent identify as two or more races. Two percent identify as Asian, and less than 1 percent identify as an American Indian or Alaska native or Native Hawaiian or another Pacific islander. The race and ethnicity are unknown for about 7 percent of students. Another 7.4 percent reported they were nonresident aliens. Those students come from various nations and ethnicities.
Students in the entering class hail from 42 states and Puerto Rico. Forty-six states are representing in PBA’s entire student body. Fifty-three percent of the entering class comes from Florida. Other top states are New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey and Illinois.
Even more impressively, students in the entering class come from 37 nations. Seventy-five nations are represented at PBA on the whole. Among the entering class, the top nations represented include Canada, the United Kingdom, Peru, Brazil, China, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, the Philippines and Russia. University-wide, the top nations represented include Canada, Colombia, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Haiti.
The youngest entering traditional undergraduate is 17 years old and the oldest is 41 years old.
Photo: Students walk on PBA’s campus near the Baxter Green and Warren Library with Watson Hall in the background.