By Sue Luse
Every year my husband and I travel to a new part of the country to visit colleges. This year we picked Virginia where I was able to meet with two of our students who live in the DC area and visit seven diverse and interesting colleges, each with unique characteristics that would appeal to different students. Over the next several weeks, I’ll write about each of the schools, beginning with Liberty University
Liberty is a private Evangelical Christian college affiliated with the Baptist church. It was founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, and its current president is his son, Jerry Falwell Jr. The school has 13,400 residential students and more than 90,000 online students. It is a modern, updated campus that is 40 percent brand new.
Liberty’s mission is to train Champions for Christ with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.
Location and Campus
The university is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, a charming small city by the Blue Ridge Mountains that’s filled with history, beautiful views, plenty of outdoor activities and other fun things to do, as well as more than 400 churches. We went to a lively restaurant called Jimmy’s on the James and enjoyed listening to a piano bar singer who sounded like Frank Sinatra. The closest international airports to Lynchburg are in Richmond, Raleigh and Washington DC.
Liberty University has beautiful views of the mountains and even has its own ski hill. If you visit Liberty, don’t miss the 275-foot tall Freedom Tower with breathtaking views of campus and mountains; it was one of the highlights of our visit. Other campus highlights include the Jerry Falwell Library and the National Civil War Chaplains Museum. Christian music is piped in throughout the grounds, and some students greet each other with “praise God” as they walk around campus.
While Liberty offers more than 550 total programs, 366 on campus and 289 online, religion and religious studies are the most popular majors. The university also has a beautiful brand-new business school; a very good, competitive nursing program; and highly regarded political science and government programs. Some other popular majors include divinity, visual and performing arts and education. Engineering and computer science students enjoy state-of-the-art facilities. Liberty also has a law school and College of Osteopathic Medicine. Most classes have fewer than 30 students. There is an honors program and good support services for students with disabilities. Liberty has a biblical approach to all majors.
Liberty is unique because of its huge online program. Also about half of the students that attend classes on campus commute. The school has a thriving athletics program with amazing facilities for its athletes, the Liberty Flames and the Lady Flames, as well as a lot of school spirit. It is a member of the NCAA Division I level in 20 sports, and a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference for most sports.
There are more than 100 student-led clubs on campus as well activities, music and theater events. Students attend three convocations a week, and attendance is a mutually agreed upon expectation clearly communicated to anyone applying to be a residential, undergraduate student. Students are allowed two excused convocation absences a year. The college’s single sex dorms are spacious and modern, and there is housing for married students. There are strict rules and expectations about student conduct.
Admissions and Tuition
Liberty is looking for students with a high school diploma or GED and a minimum GPA of 2.0. The university accepts many home-schooled students. It has rolling admissions and does not use the Common App.
Undergraduate resident tuition at Liberty is approximately $34,490 per year, which includes tuition, mandatory fees, housing, and a meal plan. It can be higher depending on the housing type and meal plan you choose.
Who Would be Happy at Liberty?
Students who are looking for a sheltered, conservative Christian college with a focus on being a Champion of Christ would be happy at Liberty University.