Though USG enrollment on the rise, state colleges see decline
by Katelyn Moore, East Georgia State College | December 5, 2018 1:43 pm
The University System of Georgia saw Fall 2018 enrollment at their 26 colleges and universities rise to a total of 328,712 students, a 1.1 percent increase over the previous year. This fall’s enrollment continues a five-year trend of modest increases in student enrollment across the USG. However, the state college sector, with the exception of Georgia Gwinnett College and Georgia Highlands College, saw a decline in enrollment for Fall 2018, averaging a decrease of 3.1%. East Georgia State College saw a decrease in enrollment, one of 14 institutions across the USG that also saw fewer students attending this fall.
East Georgia State College’s Fall 2018 enrollment is 2,942, down 2% from last fall’s 3,003. This number is made up of 408 Dual Enrollment students, 1,801 freshmen, 562 sophomores, 102 juniors and 37 seniors, as well as nine transient students and 23 others.
Though EGSC’s numbers for Fall 2018 are down overall, there has been an increase in Dual Enrollment students, up from last year’s 379. There are also more seniors this year, up from Fall 2017’s 10. In the state college sector, EGSC also has the third-highest number of freshman and beginning freshman students, after Georgia Gwinnett and Georgia Highlands.
These changing enrollment numbers are reflected across the region EGSC serves, with Georgia Southern University seeing an enrollment drop of 3.8%, Savannah State University down 7.9%, and College of Coastal Georgia down 3.2%. Increases at Augusta University of 2.8% and Middle Georgia State University of 6.3% give some insight into this trend, where more students are choosing to start their college careers at larger institutions in the region.
“During a period of enrollment challenges among USG institutions in this region of the state and in the state college sector, East Georgia State College’s enrollment has remained stable,” said EGSC President Dr. Bob Boehmer. “Additionally, growth in first year students, strong occupancy rates in residence halls and major initiatives launched by EGSC this fall to further increase retention rates all point to a positive outlook for continued enrollment stability during this challenging period.”
EGSC’s student body for Fall 2018 is made up of 4.9% Hispanic/Latino students, 0.3% American Indian/Alaska Native, 1.1% Asian, 43.9% Black/African-American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 45.7% white, 3.3% two or more races and 0.6% unknown or undeclared race. There are 2,803 Georgia residents attending EGSC, while 127 are from outside the state and 12 from other countries, and 60.2% of the student body is female.
In Fall of 2018, EGSC has seen a 0.1% increase in Black/African American, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, and in two or more race students. There has also been an increase in out-of-state students over last year. EGSC’s student population has also increased its female presence by 2.4%. This has led to a more diverse population of students at EGSC.
“EGSC recruiters have been working hard to bring in new students from the surrounding area and the Atlanta metropolitan area,” said Dr. Deborah Vess, EGSC Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “Our overall numbers of new freshmen have increased, but our Fall numbers highlight the fact that we need to continue to work on retention of students from the first year to second year. EGSC has recently implemented new advising and degree pathways, new approaches to math, and has put in place a retention team—among other initiatives—to support our students through to graduation. We hope that, in future years, our numbers will increase simply due to retaining more of the students who come to EGSC.”
To view the entire University System of Georgia Enrollment Report, visit https://www.usg.edu/news/release/university_system_of_georgia_enrollment_increases_to_all_time_high and click on the report at the bottom of the page.