LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — The late Rev. Jerry Falwell recognized the importance of accreditation, academics and athletics when he founded what is now Liberty University in 1971, his son Jerry says.
Perhaps like any upstart in a field where its competitors date themselves by centuries, not decades, the younger Falwell is quick to list the achievements of a school he has overseen since 2007. Here's a sampling:
— Its net assets have grown from $100 million in 2000 to more than $1.4 billion.
— Tuition is in the lowest 25 percent of all private schools.
— The student loan default rate is half the national average.
— The debate team has claimed an armful of national titles and has been a giant slayer, beating teams from Harvard and Vanderbilt.
— It is the largest evangelical Christian university in the world.
— Liberty has saw nearly a 1,000 percent increase in applications from 2003-2013.