NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Seth Bontrager, a North Newton native, enrolled at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, this semester as part of the university's largest class yet. The school kicked off its fall 2019 semester with a record-breaking enrollment number as the University welcomed 8,481 students to campus, tripling the 2,796 students enrolled in 2000 and marking a 57 percent increase in the last decade alone. This marks Belmont's 19th consecutive year of record enrollment. As part of its Vision 2020 strategic plan, Belmont aims to enroll 8,888 students by the Fall 2020 semester, providing more students than ever the opportunity to embrace the Belmont mission to "engage and transform the world."

Nearly 8,000 applications for freshman admissions resulted in an incoming class of 1,724 freshmen, the largest freshman class in university history. This is also anticipated to be the largest freshman class at a private college/university in Tennessee for this fall. In addition, Belmont continues to be among the top destinations for transfer students as 472 transfers joined the campus this semester. The University's graduate schools, which offer more than 25 master's programs and five doctoral programs, attracted 681 new students for the 2019-20 academic year.

This year's incoming freshman class hails from 45 states and represents nine foreign countries, with 77 percent of the class originating from outside of Tennessee. As a group, Belmont's Class of 2023 scored an average of 27 on the ACT and held an average high school GPA of 3.7.

Belmont's student body currently consists of 6,863 undergraduate students and 1,618 pursuing graduate/professional paths.