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University System of Georgia Posts Seventh Straight Year of Student Enrollment Growth

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Atlanta — November 15, 2005

The latest University System of Georgia (USG) fall enrollment report shows a seventh consecutive year of growth in attendance at the state’s public colleges and universities. The report, released today by the Board of Regents, indicates that enrollment in the System grew by almost 3,000 students from fall 2004 to fall 2005 to a total enrollment of 253,552.

The 1.2 percent increase of 2,893 students over fall 2004 follows a 1.5 percent increase from fall 2003 to fall 2004. This marks the second year that System enrollment has grown at a more modest rate, initiating a pattern of stabilization that will help alleviate some of the capacity pressures faced by many System campuses. Since fall 1998, USG enrollment has grown by 53,540 students, an increase of 26.7 percent over this time period.

“While our enrollment growth is beginning to stabilize, we know Georgians will continue to pursue higher education opportunities in record numbers,” said Interim Chancellor Corlis P. Cummings. “The strong budget support we recently received from the Governor and General Assembly will allow us to better serve our students and ensure their access to high-quality academic programs. The bottom line is post-secondary education is a necessity in today’s competitive, global society, and we are pleased that Georgians are heeding that message.”

A significant portion of the University System’s new students are first-time freshmen. This group saw a record high enrollment in fall 2005 of 39,960 students, an increase of 6.2 percent over fall 2004’s total of 37,615. This increase of 2,345 students represents 81 percent of the USG’s total enrollment gain.

Overall, the System’s “state college” sector experienced the highest percentage of enrollment growth from fall 2004 to fall 2005 of 4 percent or 636 students. Also posting enrollment gains over this same time period were the “regional university” sector (up 2.4 percent, or 649 students), the “state university” sector (up 1.3 percent, or 1,048 students) and the “two-year college” sector (up 2.6 percent, or 1,276 students). The System’s “research institution” sector posted a slight decrease of .9 percent, or 716 fewer students.

Some University System institutions posted enrollment increases well above the System average. East Georgia College jumped 14.6 percent, to 1,511 students; Georgia Highlands College posted an 11.7 percent increase, to 3,817 students; Darton College’s enrollment increased 11.0 percent to 4,578 students; Savannah State University jumped 10.4 percent to a total enrollment of 3,091 students; and Macon State College had a 7.3 percent increase, to 6,150 students.

African-American enrollment increased by 1.9 percent, or 1,133 students, from 58,757 students in fall 2004 to 59,890 students in fall 2005 – representing 23.6 percent of total University System enrollment. The University System, through its African-American Male Initiative (AAMI), has focused efforts since 2002 on increasing the numbers of black males enrolled in college. Black male enrollment in the System continued a pattern of growth since the beginning of AAMI, with an increase of 3.1 percent, or 577 students. Black male enrollment now totals 19,291 students as of fall 2005, up from 18,714 students in fall 2004. However, females represent 67.8 percent of total African-American enrollment, underscoring the importance of continued efforts to prepare, recruit and enroll Black males in college.

Hispanic enrollment in the System jumped by 10.3 percent, or 663 students, up from 6,425 students in fall 2004 to 7,088 students in fall 2005.

The number of students enrolled full-time in the University System increased by 1 percent from fall 2004 to fall 2005 to a System average of 68.5 percent. Full-time enrollment ranged from a high of 94.7 percent of the students at the Medical College of Georgia, to a low of 32.7 percent of students enrolled at Coastal Georgia Community College.

Bucking national trends, growth in the University System’s total male enrollment outpaced female enrollment from fall 2004 to fall 2005. While the System’s percentage of female students held almost steady at 58.3 percent of total student enrollment, male student enrollment increased from fall 2004 to fall 2005 by 1.5 percent, or 1,511 students, outpacing the .9 percent (1,382 students) increase in female enrollment. For fall 2005, USG male enrollment is 105,788 students; female enrollment is 147,764 students.

The full University System of Georgia Fall 2005 Semester Enrollment Report is available on the USG website at: http://www.usg.edu/sra/students/enroll/.

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