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Leesburg, FL (August 19, 2015): As Beacon College prepares to welcome its 27th entering Fall class for a new academic year, the community has good reason to be optimistic, and understandably proud.

The College will greet its largest class of new students, with 110 freshman and transfer students commencing their undergraduate studies and orientation to Beacon on Friday, August 21st.  Hailing from 32 states and 9 foreign countries, Beacon’s full-time enrollment will be 285 students.  This figure surpasses the previous record enrollment set just one year ago at 221 undergraduates.

There are further statistics – nationally relevant – that give Beacon’s enrollment numbers a richer perspective.  The 48.7% increase in full-time students at the College over the past two years dwarfs similar percentages of enrollment growth at private and public colleges and universities in Florida and across the U.S.  Beacon’s 59% acceptance rate this year places it among the national category of selective American colleges.

In February, the U.S. Department of Education released its College Scorecard reporting on the graduation rates of all accredited undergraduate institutions across the country.  Here, too, Beacon’s 83.3% graduation rate placed the College in rather exclusive company, and exceeded considerably the 59% graduation rate for all U.S. colleges and universities.

The College’s enrollment growth is spurring campus development both along Leesburg’s Main Street and within the institutions footprint on the side streets nearby.  The façade of the Mason Art Gallery, a newly renovated academic center adjacent to the College’s main administration building, Beacon Hall, is in the final stages of the last phase of a two-year reconstruction project – with a new bricks-and-mortar “facelift”.  The Railway Depot Fitness Center and Student Union, located in the iconic, former Leesburg Railroad Station will be unveiled upon the students return.  An adjacent property on East Meadow Street will house important program elements of the College’s accredited Studio Arts major.  Beacon’s first intramural playing field is taking shape, also on East Meadow Street, for student outdoor recreation and fitness.

“The real danger for students who learn differently is that they may mistake their ‘island of challenge’ as the dominant landscape of their lives.  It is not.”

“I think that Beacon’s success of the past decade is both earned and deserved”, says Dr. George Hagerty, Beacon’s President. “We are grateful to be prospering at a time of significant competition in higher education.  I believe that our growth is in large part because we have always embraced and never deviated from our core mission to serve college-ready undergraduate students who lean differently.  We teach our students not to mistake their ‘island of learning challenge’ for the whole landscape of their lives.”

Beacon recently made its inaugural foray into the arena of international education by partnering with the King Salman Center for Disability Research (KSCDR) to implement the pre-college COMPASS Program hosted on the Leesburg campus.  As attested to by all associated with this offering, the Program was very successful in meeting its educational and cultural goals and will be expanded in its implementation next year.

For more information, please contatct Steve Mulller, Vice President for Institutional Development and Communication at (352) 638-9706.