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University System of Georgia enrollment at 340,638 for Fall 2021

Atlanta — November 1, 2021

University System of Georgia (USG) enrollment dipped only slightly this fall despite facing similar challenges that have buffeted higher education institutions nationally. Total enrollment stands at 340,638 students attending the state’s 26 public colleges and universities.

Enrollment grew by 2.6% overall at research universities and by .5% overall at comprehensive universities, according to USG’s Fall 2021 Semester Enrollment Report. Those increases include significant growth in key sectors such as graduate programs, which helped offset declines of 3.7% at state universities and 6.7% at state colleges.

Overall, USG saw a decrease of only 851 students or .2% across the state as campuses returned to in-person instruction and activities while maintaining the health and safety of campus communities.

“I appreciate all the challenges our students have overcome as they have persisted on their journey toward their degree from a USG institution,” USG Acting Chancellor Teresa MacCartney said. “I applaud our presidents, faculty and staff for all they’ve done to make this fall successful.”

USG’s fall enrollment count brings to an end seven straight years of enrollment increases for the system that last fall saw an all-time high of 341,489 students. This year’s count is the first time the fall report did not show an increase since 2013.

It also comes as USG has performed better than its peers nationally, overall experiencing more positive enrollment trends than many public and private four-year institutions across the country.

According to National Student Clearinghouse data, USG this fall had a 2.1% decrease in undergraduates while four-year public institutions nationally decreased by 2.3% and all institutions (including privates) decreased 3.2%. Conversely, USG’s graduate student growth was especially strong, up 7.9% compared to increases of 4.3% for four-year publics and 2.1% for all institutions nationally.

Fall Semester Enrollment at USG institutions compared to U.S. institutions nationally
Source: National Student Clearinghouse (2021); First-Look Fall 2021 Enrollment (As of Sept. 23).

Within USG, enrollment increased at five institutions, remained unchanged at one and decreased at 20. Institutions with enrollment growth included Georgia Institute of Technology (10.3%), Kennesaw State University (4.4%), University of Georgia (2.5%), Georgia Southern University (.5%) and Augusta University (.4%). Georgia Southwestern State University was flat.

Dual enrollment increased by 3.7%. The other category that saw significant growth was new graduate and professional students, increasing by 3.6%.

The demographic numbers showed growth among Hispanic (3.4%) and Asian (10.3%) students with a slight dip in African American (-2.4%) and white (-2.2%) students.

The enrollment numbers were released in the USG’s “Fall 2021 Semester Enrollment Report,” which analyzes enrollment data by institution, age, gender, race and ethnicity, in-state, out-of-state and international students. The full report is available here.

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