Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Business education’s measured growth signals bright future


Enrollment in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business increased 8.7 percent over a year ago, according to recently released fall 2020 enrollment data by Clemson University.

CoB Building with signage
Numbers point to bright future for business education at Clemson.

Data also shows the demand for business courses has never been higher in the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business and the first-time freshman cohort was the largest in the business education’s history at Clemson.

“To have a nearly nine-percent increase in enrollment and positive numbers in other key areas during these uncertain times, speaks to the rise in stature we expect to see in business education at Clemson,” said Wendy York, dean of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business. “Despite the challenges the pandemic has posed, our positive numbers present a bright future for Clemson business education as we grow in a measured and manageable way.”

The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business undergraduate and graduate enrollment was 5,517 this fall, nearly 9 percent above last fall’s enrollment of 5,076. University-wide enrollment also increased to 26,406, up 2.3 percent from the year prior.

Wendy York mugshot
Wendy York

Four of the College’s departments saw significant enrollment increases. Finance enrollment was 11 percent over a year ago with 675 students. Marketing rose 7.8 percent with 610 students enrolled. Economics’ enrollment increased by 5 percent, from 330 students to 347 this fall. The MBA program also increased enrollment over last year by 4.3 percent.

Other numbers reflecting positively on the College’s direction, include:

-Enrollment of in-state business undergraduates increased by 5.8 percent over the fall of 2019-20.

-The College’s first-time freshman cohort was 888 this fall, the largest ever, and more than double the 2011 cohort of 422.

-Similarly, the new transfer cohort, which includes bridge students, is the largest ever at 462, besting last year’s 424.

-Demand for College courses has never been higher. Over a five-year period, credit hours of instruction increased 24.5 percent with more than 121,000 credit hours being delivered in the 2019-20 academic year. Twenty-five percent of those credit hours went to students outside of the College.

-Retention and graduation rates also show positive signs. Freshman to sophomore retention remained solid at 93 percent and the four-year graduation rate has grown to 79 percent.

“These are all very favorable numbers that show a value and demand for business education at Clemson, all while managing that growth to maintain academic excellence,” York added. “Thanks to the unwavering generosity of the Clemson Family and execution of our educational priorities, the sun is rising on a new era in business education at Clemson as we unveil one of the nation’s best-kept secrets in higher education.

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