Perhaps Shorter “lost” 7 percent of its student body (115 students) because of the continuing uproar about its change in philosophical approach. Maybe not. After all, at last count some 86 faculty/staff at Shorter exited with their feet from a much smaller total … thus probably closer to 50 percent than 7.
As for Berry, its upward surge was sparked by the second largest freshman class in the college’s history, some 716. Its philosophical approach to education is actually quite as unique as is that of Shorter, just in a quite different arena and not as well publicized as Shorter’s praise-the-Lord and pass-the-Bible emphasis.
Neither of these locally based private colleges gave reasons for the numbers shift; Shorter didn’t even provide a by-class breakdown, probably fearing speculation/opinion no matter what was shown. (Maybe they gained more freshmen but lost most of their music-major upperclassmen.)
In any case, all this says for certain is that the Greater Rome community should be happy. Both these are private colleges with most students living on campus and thus being added residents for much of the year. Like most residents they not only shop and spend but they also contribute/participate in community activities.
The bottom line that matters: That number is up overall.
What is being taught … and how well … is another discussion entirely.