University President Danny Lovett said the K-12 academy in Highland Park hit its peak in 1980, when 1,000 students were enrolled. Now there are seven or eight students in certain grades and 140 total, he said.
“When it was 1980, Highland Park was a different demographic,” Lovett said. “You had more higher, upper middle-income people.
“All these schools popped up and, with logistics, economics and the gas involved, it wasn’t a surprise when our enrollment went south even more,” he said.
Lovett also said that an increase in “good Christian schools” contributed to the enrollment drop, citing almost 50 such institutions in a 30-mile radius around Tennessee Temple.
Unlike the academy, the university has hit a growth spurt, according to Tennessee Temple’s website. Lovett said enrollment has grown from 400 to 1,200 students in the last three years, calling the university “our forte.”
“God’s really blessing that,” he said.