Bridgewater College Welcomes More Than 500 New Students for Fall Semester

A female student holding a sign that says welcome B-C first years. In her other hand is a pompom

Nearly 1,450 students will call Bridgewater College home for the 2023-2024 academic year. The fall semester officially began on Tuesday, Aug. 22, following move-in and welcoming traditions like opening convocation, the President’s backyard bash and BC Cup challenges.

As families pulled up to the residence halls for first-year move-in on Aug. 17, swarms of current students, faculty, staff and alumni were eager to help. Eagles We-Haul is an annual tradition at Bridgewater that allows alumni to come back to campus to welcome a new class of Eagles. The volunteers haul mini fridges, hand out water and help new families navigate campus.

“At BC, our priority, particularly on days like these, is in fostering strong connections and making sure our newest Eagles know they belong here. We have so many amazing alumni, employees and student leaders to help with the physical move-in process, along with the amazing experiences for all our first-year students that lead up to the start of classes. This really is one of the best times of the year for us, letting us showcase our care for our community,” said Dr. Leslie Frere, vice president for student life and dean of students.

New student enrollment continues to grow, as this year the College welcomed more than 500 new students which includes first-year freshmen, transfer students and graduate students. These new students hail from 272 different high schools, 20 different states and 13 different countries. While most of BC’s Class of 2027 resides in Virginia (69%), the College welcomed students from as far away as California, Texas and Idaho. The College is also boasting its highest international student population among first-year students to date (7%) with Ghana, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia and Nepal being the top countries sending students to Bridgewater.

The top choice of majors for the new class are business administration, health and exercise science, computer science, biology, psychology, engineering and art. Over the last five years, the field of engineering has consistently been named among the top career objectives by admitted students to Bridgewater College. In response to student interest, the College’s undergraduate major in engineering launches this fall, with the first cohort graduating in 2027.

The College’s varsity esports team will also compete for the first time this fall. Forty-two BC students will compete on eight different teams in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the Mid-Atlantic Esports Conference (MAEC). Of the 42 student competitors, 23 are first-year students.

Other facts about Bridgewater College’s Class of 2027:
Note: This information is based on the best available data at the time of publication.

  • 180 are student-athletes competing in the College’s 23 intercollegiate teams in the NCAA Division III
  • 35% identify as being from underrepresented ethnicities and races
  • 30% are Pell-eligible, awarded to students with exceptional financial need
  • 23% are first-generation students, meaning they are the first in their families to attend college
  • 17% are part of the College’s Flory Honors program, which requires a strong academic record of a 3.8 or higher grade point average (GPA) from high school or a post-secondary institution

Media Contact:
Logan Bogert
Communications Coordinator
(540) 828-5486