State College Enrollment Up but Georgia Southern, Valdosta State Dropping

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Enrollment in state colleges grew slightly this fall,

but tougher admissions policies and a strong economy might be

taking a toll on some of Georgia's public universities.

Enrollment rose at the University of Georgia, Georgia State

University and Armstrong Atlantic State University, but fell at

the state's two regional universities -- Georgia Southern and

Valdosta State -- and several other schools, including Augusta

State, Savannah State and the Medical College of Georgia.

Chancellor Stephen Portch's plan to better manage enrollment in

the system's 34 colleges and universities received a boost: the

numbers were up at two-year schools.

Overall, Portch said, "The enrollment increase is very much in

line with what we wanted to see . . . a modest increase. I'm not

a huge fan of up and down increases."

Last year, enrollment declined about 1 percent at university

system schools. This fall, it rose 0.5 percent, from 204,332 to

205,389.

It increased from 29,404 to 29,693 at the system's flagship

school, the University of Georgia, and from 23,410 to 24,300 at

Georgia State University.

Enrollment grew at Armstrong Atlantic in Savannah from 5,617 to

5,696.

However, it fell at Georgia Tech, from 12,985 to 12,969; at the

Medical College, from 2,499 to 2,448; at Georgia Southern from

14,312 to 13,965; at Valdosta State from 9,799 to 9,779; at

Augusta State from 5,561 to 5,510; and at Savannah State from

2,822 to 2,746.

Earlier this year, the University System Board of Regents

projected enrollment growth at each of those schools over the

next five years, including a 10 percent rise at Augusta State

and 6 percent at Savannah State.

Enrollment in two-year schools grew from 45,252 to 45,401.

While that's not much of a gain, community colleges have

struggled to show an increase the past few years despite

attempts by the Board of Regents to make them more attractive by

lowering tuition. …