Benedictine College was recently recognized as the largest private college in Kansas by the Kansas Independent Colleges Association, growing by nearly 100 percent in the past 10 years.

According to the college’s president, Stephen Minnis, BC has had its 19th straight year of undergraduate increase, with freshmen enrollment at 510, and a student body total of 1,900.

The high numbers, Minnis said, means that students from around the country are looking to BC for furthering their education. For most schools, 60 percent of the student body is in-state residents. For BC, in-state enrollment is 25 percent, which means the college has developed a national reputation.

Minnis said that, as they continue to grow, it builds confidence in the students on campus, as well as incoming students looking to further their education.

The college’s motto is “Forward always forward,” and this, Minnis said, has led to a push to create new programs. These have included nursing and engineering programs. BC’s mechanical engineering program has earned national accreditation, and over 200 students are attending the College of Engineering as a whole this year.

BC has also added an architecture program to its curriculum, becoming the only NAIA school to have both architecture and engineering programs and the only Catholic school to have an architecture program.

All of these new things, Minnis said, have attracted the best and the brightest. He added that, not only has total enrollment increased, but so has the average ACT and SAT scores.

Ryan Falk can be reached at ryan.falk@npgco.com.

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