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University System Enrollment Hits Record of 301,892 Students

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Fall 2009 Enrollment Up 6.7 Percent Over Last Year

Atlanta — November 18, 2009

A record 301,892 students enrolled this fall in the University System of Georgia’s (USG) 35 public colleges and universities, an increase of 18,914 students over fall 2008. Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. announced the latest numbers today in a report to the Board of Regents.

The numbers represent a 6.7 percent increase from fall 2008 to fall 2009, well above the 4.8 percent growth in enrollment from fall 2007 to fall 2008. Since fall 2006, enrollment in the USG has grown 16 percent, or by 41,947 students.

“We added almost the equivalent of a Georgia Southern University [fall 2009 enrollment: 19,086] since last fall,” Davis said. “The trend lines historically are up; we have grown just above 16 percent since fall 2006. We have exploding demand for public higher education as individuals prepare themselves for careers requiring a college education in a changing and uncertain economy.”

The fall 2009 Semester Enrollment Report shows enrollment gains across the board. Thirty-four USG institutions posted a record high enrollment this fall.

Ten institutions had double-digit growth from fall 2008 to fall 2009, accounting for 6,072 students or 32.1 percent of the overall enrollment increase. Eight of these institutions are in either the state or two-year college sectors. These are the sectors identified in the regents’ Strategic Plan to accommodate the bulk of the System’s projected enrollment growth through 2020. Both state as well as two-year college sector enrollment increased 10.4 percent from fall 2008 to fall 2009. These two-year or state colleges are:

  • Georgia Gwinnett College with an increase of 88.5 percent (2,947 total students);
  • Atlanta Metropolitan College, 19.9 percent (2,688 total students);
  • Gordon College, 17.9 percent (4,545 total students);
  • Darton College, 16.6 percent (5,854 total students);
  • Dalton State College, 15.4 percent (5,722 total students);
  • Bainbridge College (3,558 total students) and Waycross College (1,077 total students), both 15.1 percent; and
  • Georgia Highlands College, 11.3 percent (5,219 total students).

The remaining two institutions with double-digit growth are two of the USG’s three historic black colleges and universities:

  • Fort Valley State University, 14.4 percent (3,553 total students); and
  • Savannah State University, 10.6 percent (3,820 total students).

The USG’s six largest institutions had 41.1 percent of the enrollment growth, or 7,775 students.

  • Georgia State University enrolled an additional 2,198 students for total enrollment of 30,427, a 7.8 percent increase.
  • Georgia Perimeter College’s enrollment grew by 1,741 students to 24,549 or 7.6 percent.
  • Georgia Southern University’s enrollment grew by 1,322 students to 19,086 or 7.4 percent.
  • Georgia Tech enrolled 869 more students, a 4.5 percent increase to hit 20,293 students.
  • Kennesaw State University’s enrollment increased by 940 students to 22,389 or 4.4 percent.
  • The University of Georgia had an additional 705 students, or growth of 2.1 percent for a record high of 34,885 students.

First-time freshmen enrollment continued to show gains, increasing 5.7 percent over last fall to a total of 49,157 freshmen this fall.

Women, continuing a long-term trend in both the University System and nationally, have an enrollment in fall 2009 in the USG that is 35.7 percent higher than men: 173,818 women to 128,074 men. Female enrollment increased from fall 2008 to fall 2009 by 6.4 percent, or 10,498 students, while male enrollment was up 7 percent, or 8,416 students. However, women now account for a slightly lower percentage of total enrollment, dropping from 57.7 percent in fall 2008 to 57.6 in fall 2009.

The University System continues to be a diverse system, as evidenced by the numbers in the Enrollment Report, and minority enrollment saw the largest percentage increase from fall 2008 to fall 2009.

African American enrollment increased from fall 2008 to fall 2009 by 10,205 students, or 14.6 percent, more than double the percentage enrollment increase for all students. African American enrollment now stands at 79,976 students, or 26.5 percent of total USG enrollment.

Hispanic enrollment increased by 29 percent, from 9,874 students in fall 2008 to 12,734 students in fall 2009, an increase of 2,860 students. Hispanic students now comprise 4.2 percent of total USG enrollment.

Asian enrollment also continued to show gains, increasing by 1,451 students, or 8.1 percent, from a fall 2008 total of 17,805 to a fall 2009 enrollment of 19,256. Asian students make up 6.4 percent of all students.

Reporting of Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander enrollment is slightly different this year, following new reporting requirements by the federal government. Now individuals must report their ethnicity (Hispanic or not) and race separately. Also, Asian and Pacific Islanders were formerly combined, now they are two separate reports.

The system’s full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE) for fall 2009 is 266,575, an increase of 7.9 percent over fall 2008, adding 19,407 FTE students. This increase is above the overall enrollment increase of 6.7 percent and is a record high for the University System. The increase in FTE enrollment indicates that more students are taking additional hours of courses, compared to students in fall 2008.

The USG fall 2009 enrollment report is available on the web at: http://www.usg.edu/research/students/enroll/fy2010/fall09.pdf

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