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USG SAT Scores, Enrollment Continue Upward Trend

Atlanta — November 15, 2000

SAT scores are up. Enrollment is up. The best and brightest students are enrolling in the University System of Georgia in larger numbers each year.

That was the message delivered during a presentation of the University System of Georgia’s Fall 2000 Enrollment Summary, released today at the Board of Regents meeting.

Average SAT scores for first-time freshmen – one of the strongest measures of the academic strength of incoming students - are the highest in the University System’s history and for the first time also surpass the national average. The average SAT total score (combined verbal and math) for the System increased from 1,016 in Fall 1999 (the national average that year for all SAT takers), to 1,021 in Fall 2000 - surpassing this year’s national average of 1,019 for all SAT takers. Perhaps even more importantly, 11 System institutions now have average SAT scores over 1,000, compared to eight last year and only five in Fall 1994, when the University System of Georgia initiated new efforts to increase student performance. This year Armstrong Atlantic State University, with an average score of 1,028, Georgia Southern University, with a score of 1,008, and Georgia Southwestern State University, at 1,001, recorded average SATs over 1,000 for the first time. The three institutions joined Georgia College & State University (1,049), Georgia State (1,045), Georgia Tech (1,329), Kennesaw State (1,034), North Georgia College & State University (1,065), Southern Polytechnic State University (1,074), the University of Georgia (1,198), and Valdosta State (1,012) in that selective category.

“I am pleased that the University System has moved above the national average,” said Chancellor Stephen R. Portch, “and also encouraged by the fact that each year more of our institutions are able to attract students with stronger academic preparation.”

In addition to the improved SAT scores, the University System also exceeded its goal of reducing by 5 percent per year the proportion of students entering the state’s colleges and universities needing learning support courses. From Fall of 1999 to Fall of 2000, the System documented a 5.6 percent decline in learning support students.

Armstrong Atlantic State University recorded the largest increase of all System institutions, catapulting by 66 points, to 1,028. Georgia Tech recorded a remarkable 26-point jump to 1,329, over what was already the highest score in the University System. Georgia Southern also produced an impressive 21-point increase, achieving an average score of 1,008 this fall.

Gainesville College and Macon State College also produced impressive results in both SAT performance and enrollment growth. Gainesville recorded a 10-point increase in its average SAT score, moving from 930 to 940, while also experiencing a 7.2 percent increase in enrollment (220 new students). Macon State’s SAT scores moved 9 points, while the campus simultaneously experienced a dramatic 10-percent growth spurt in enrollment – an increase of 374 new students.

Meanwhile, the University System of Georgia recorded the second largest headcount in its history. For the Fall 2000 semester, 205,878 students enrolled in the 34 USG institutions, reflecting an increase of 1 percent - or 2,072 students - over last year’s headcount enrollment of 203,806.

The System’s equivalent full-time enrollment (EFT) - reflecting all hours enrolled divided by 15 - increased even more, by 2,520 students, or 1.7 percent, over last year’s EFT enrollment of 152,241 students.

Portch’s emphasis regarding the University System’s performance was focused on the enhanced student achievement. “The real winners, when you raise standards and expect students to come to college better prepared, are the students themselves,” he stated. “I want to thank the teachers and the schools who are sending us these students.”

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