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Motlow State is Tennessee's fastest growing college for fourth straight semester

LYNCHBURG, TN (Feb. 22, 2017) — Since August 2015 when the fall semester began, through today when spring 2017 enrollment numbers are still unofficial, Motlow State Community College has consistently been the fastest growing college in Tennessee.

This includes all four-year state universities and two-year community colleges, and the percentage of growth by Motlow over the two-year span is not just the largest in the state, it is larger by a significant amount.

In the fall of 2014, Motlow's total student headcount was 4,758. By the fall of 2015 that number had grown to 5,256, an increase of 10.5 percent. By comparison, the closest school to Motlow in growth was Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, with an increase of 5.3 percent.

However, it is FTE, or full-time equivalency, that is often used to better measure how many class hours are being taken at a college as opposed to pure headcount, which doesn't take into account those that are part-time, only seeking certificates, etc. In FTE, Motlow jumped an amazing 21.9 percent from fall 2014 to fall 2015. Volunteer State was again second with 14.1 percent.

The numbers are equally impressive when comparing fall 2015 to fall 2016. In 2015, Motlow's headcount was 5,256 and FTE 3,533. By fall 2016 those number had jumped to 5,838 headcount, an increase of 11.1 percent, and 4,081 FTE, which was an increase of 15.5 percent.

Motlow's retention rate, or the number of students who stay from fall semester to spring semester, has risen at an equally impressive rate. In spring 2015, the headcount was 4,288 and FTE 2,600. By spring 2016, those number had risen to 4,670 for headcount, an increase of 8.9 percent, and an FTE of 3,095, increasing by 19 percent from the previous spring.

A glance at spring 2017 numbers, which are not official yet, shows the trend continuing as the headcount has jumped to 5,144, a 10.2 percent increase from spring 2016, and the FTE continues to rise at 3,494, an increase of 13.1 percent over 2016.

Motlow's growth during the past two years is even more impressive when compared with the total for all 13 Tennessee community colleges. From fall 2015 to fall 2016, headcount was down across the state 2.1 percent and FTE dropped 1.4 percent. From spring 2016 to the unofficial numbers for spring 2017, headcount is down statewide 2.0 percent and FTE is down 1.0 percent.