Press Release
Thomas College Emerges Stronger from the Pandemic with Increase in New Student Enrollment and Retention MacKenzie Riley Young | August 31, 2022
person walking across campus

WATERVILLE, MAINE, August 2022 — Many colleges across the country are emerging into a difficult post-pandemic world with lower enrollment rates, but Thomas College in Waterville, Maine is experiencing growth with a 19 percent increase in new student undergraduate enrollment and a 48 percent increase in online graduate program enrollment compared to last year.

“COVID taught us that strategy and following a plan is crucial to success. We are obviously on the other side of those difficult times and back on track,” said Thomas College Chief Operating Officer Todd Smith. “Our community is growing and thriving. It’s a great time to be a Thomas College Terrier.”

This weekend, Thomas College will welcome all students back to campus. New students are scheduled to move in on Saturday, September 3, and returning students move in on Monday, September 5. Classes begin on September 6. The College’s first-year retention is also experiencing growth post-pandemic at 77 percent compared to the College’s three-year average of 70 percent and its record rate of 74 percent.

During the peak of the pandemic in the summer of 2020, Thomas College launched its graduate programs fully online. This strategic response and planning in response to hardship ultimately led to success. Two years later, growth in the College’s online graduate programs has increased dramatically with the number of course registrations for the fall term anticipated to be 43 percent higher than Fall 2021, and compared to last year, the number of students enrolled in online programs is up 48 percent.

“This growth is attributed to an unprecedented number of May graduates who chose to go right into online degree programs, teachers returning to finish or start their degrees post-COVID, and new employer partnerships,” said Smith.

Thomas College offers a variety of online degrees and certificates of advanced study in their graduate and professional studies division including business, criminology, cybersecurity, and education.  

As students return to campus this fall, they have many things to look forward to: the opening of a 18,000-square-foot Sports Center, new faculty members and academic programs, and our re-imagined professional and career development offerings that includes the College’s Guaranteed Job Program™, among the first of its kind in the nation, which resulted in 75 percent of the recent graduating class completing a three-credit internship, the largest since before the pandemic.

Thomas College is also looking forward to hosting Fall Open House on October 15 and Homecoming and Family Weekend on October 14-16.

About Thomas College: In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked Thomas College #1 among colleges in Maine and #10 in the Northeast for social mobility of our graduates. Located in Waterville, Maine, Thomas College is your pathway to a promising future, guaranteed, with our Guaranteed Job Program, 3-year accelerated offerings in all undergraduate degrees, and graduate offerings ranging from in-person and on-campus to 100% online.  For more information, visit www.thomas.edu or contact MacKenzie Riley Young at mediarel@thomas.edu or 207-859-1313. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

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