The University System of Georgia’s (USG) fall 2010 enrollment has climbed to 311,442 students, yet another record high. That’s an increase of 9,550 students, or 3.2 percent, over the fall 2009 enrollment, which at the time was the record.
USG Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. announced the figures Wednesday, as the system released its 2010 Fall Enrollment Report. The report provides data on enrollment by institution, by gender, by race and ethnicity, and breaks down students by class (freshmen, sophomore, etc.) and in-state/out-of-state.
“Individuals continue to seek out the opportunity that higher education uniquely offers,” Davis said. “We must bear this in mind as we continue to be challenged by budgets and shrinking state resources.”
Since fall 2006, enrollment in the System’s 35 degree-granting colleges and universities has risen every year, adding 51,497 students, a 19.8 percent increase over the past five years.
“This is the equivalent of adding all of our eight two year colleges and one state college (Middle Georgia College) to our system in terms of the raw numbers,” Davis said.
While this year’s increase of 3.2 percent is smaller than the 6.7 percent jump (18,914 students) from fall 2008 to fall 2009, it tracks the annual percentage increases seen over recent years: 2.5 percent from fall 2005 to fall 2006, 3.9 percent from fall 2006 to fall 2007; and 4.8 percent from fall 2007 to fall 2008. The average percentage increase over the 2006-2010 period is almost 4 percent.
Six USG institutions saw double-digit growth this fall. Leading the pack — as it did last fall — is Georgia Gwinnett College, with an increase of 82.6 percent, or 2,433 students, to 5,380 students enrolled this fall.
Others with double-digit growth are:
• Atlanta Metropolitan College, 13 percent, to 3,037 students.
• College of Coastal Georgia, 11.6 percent, to 3,438 students.
• East Georgia College, 11.2 percent, to 3,063 students.
• South Georgia College, 10.7 percent, to 2,214 students.
• Gordon College, 10.2 percent, to 5,009 students.
By sector, the four research universities (Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Medical College of Georgia and the University of Georgia) saw an average increase of 1.4 percent.
The two regional universities (Georgia Southern University and Valdosta State University) grew an average of 3.5 percent and the 13 state universities were slightly below this, at 2.5 percent growth.
The eight state colleges saw an average enrollment increase of 7.9 percent – which was the largest percentage jump by sector. The eight two-year colleges posted a 3.5 percent increase.
This year’s enrollment report shows that by sector the four research universities comprise 28.4 percent of fall enrollment; the regionals have 10.1 percent and the state universities have 30.7 percent.
The access colleges have 27.7 percent of enrollment — 12.4 percent at state colleges and 15.3 percent at the two-year colleges. Yet 29 percent of total access enrollment — 25,113 students — is concentrated in just one institution: Georgia Perimeter College.
“We must continue our efforts — as set forth in the Board’s Strategic Plan — to shift more of our enrollment to our access institutions,” Davis said. “These institutions are where we have the capacity at a lower cost of instruction than at our research universities to continue to meet growing enrollment during a time of declining state resources.”
Minority students continued to enroll at a higher percentage rate than the overall student population in fall 2010.
The biggest percentage growth came in Hispanic enrollment, which jumped 14.5 percent, or 1,847 students, from fall 2009 to fall 2010. Total
Hispanic enrollment is now at 12,734, or 4.7 percent of total enrollment. In 2009, Hispanic enrollment was 4.2 percent of all students.
Enrollment growth by Asian students increased 6.5 percent, or 979 students, from fall 2009 to fall 2010. Asian enrollment for fall 2010 stands at 20,235 students, or 6.4 percent of total enrollment.
The system’s African-American enrollment increased from fall 2009 to fall 2010 by 5.1 percent, or 4,130 students. Total system African-American enrollment now stands at 84,106, or 27 percent of all students.
Looking at gender, females make up 57.5 percent of total enrollment. This percentage is down from last year, by exactly point one-tenth of a percent. This fall there are 179,031 females and 132,409 males enrolled in the USG.
First-time freshmen students total 49,368 in fall 2010, an increase of just 211 students, or .4 percent.
Georgia residents comprise 89.9 percent, or 280,021 students, of the USG’s total enrollment.
The system’s full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE) for fall 2010 is 276,111, an increase of 3.6 percent over fall 2009, adding 9,536 students. The increase in FTE enrollment means that more students are taking additional hours of courses, compared to students in fall 2009.