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University System Establishes 2003 Enrollment Targets

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Atlanta — May 12, 1999

New five-year enrollment targets presented to the Board of Regents today project attendance at the 34 public colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia to grow by 10 percent during 1999-2003.

Such growth will increase enrollment from a Fall 1998 enrollment of 200,102 students, to an anticipated enrollment high of 229,621 students in the Fall of 2003. All 34 campuses of the University System are planning to experience enrollment increases, with growth rates ranging from 2 percent to 37 percent.

With the adoption of its “Comprehensive Plan” in 1997, the Board of Regents established enrollment targets to strategically link anticipated enrollment demands with academic, workforce and facilities planning. Since first establishing the campus targets, the original Systemwide enrollment growth rate has increased by 1 percent. The initial rate was targeted at 9 percent for the period of 1998-2002, and has moved to 10 percent for 1999-2003.

“Our enrollments targets are aimed at managing growth rather than letting the growth manage us,” said Dr. James Muyskens, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs with the Board of Regents. “Georgia is a popular and successful state, which continues to grow. The University System must respond effectively to that increased growth, and effectively plan to meet the demand for access to high-quality academic programs. Our enrollment planning process is meeting that objective.”

Under the University System’s “Comprehensive Plan,” all campuses are expected to develop an enrollment planning process that considers potential enrollment relative to:

  • historical and projected enrollment and population trends;
  • the demographics of areas from which current and potential students originate;
  • local, regional, state and national economic trends;
  • the implications of public policy and academic program development; and
  • the programs of the University System and other peer institutions.

Two major factors are impacting the first two years of the revised enrollment projections. The University System’s Fall 1998 semester conversion process fostered a decline in full-time enrollment. The strong economy, which generally provides full-time employment opportunities for students, also tends to have an adverse impact on enrollment. But long-term, strong demographic trends will continue to drive high enrollment projections and solid growth for the University System over the next five years.

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