Like other public university institutions across the nation, University System of Georgia (USG) enrollment declined slightly for the second consecutive year. Total enrollment for Fall 2022 stands at 334,459 students attending the state’s 26 public colleges and universities.
Enrollment grew by 1.2% at research universities but declined in the system’s three other institutional sectors, according to USG’s Fall 2022 Semester Enrollment Report. Comprehensive universities fell -3.7%, state universities were down -5.7% and state colleges dropped -2.4%.
Overall, USG saw a decrease of 6,179 students or -1.8% across the state. Eight institutions had an increase in enrollment, while 17 declined and one remained flat compared to last year.
“The University System of Georgia faces similar challenges to undergraduate enrollment as other public systems including a booming job market and the lingering effects of the pandemic,” USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue said. “Still, I’m a facts guy, and the facts show USG graduates will make over $1 million more in their lifetimes thanks to their college degree and frankly we need to do a better job marketing that valuable return on investment. We aim to be a lifelong learning partner that helps Georgians change their lives and grow Georgia’s skilled workforce and economy.”
USG between 2013 and 2020 saw a steady increase in the number of students enrolling in its institutions, with record-high headcounts each fall between 2015 and 2020 – including an all-time high in Fall 2020 of 341,489 students.
In Fall 2021, for the first time since 2013, enrollment dipped -.2% to 340,638. Despite the declines over the past two years, USG enrollment in Fall 2022 remains more than 1,000 students higher than in Fall 2019.
Undergraduate enrollment declined by about 6,500 students from last fall. Graduate enrollment was up by about 100 students and has increased each of the past five years.
The recent overall enrollment decline is related to several trends. The current strong job market has attracted potential students as they choose to enter the workforce over higher education. Additionally, national research has shown that financial uncertainty and the ongoing effects of the pandemic have also contributed to enrollment decisions. This includes learning challenges at the secondary level that have affected whether high school students immediately decide to pursue college.
Compared nationally, USG this fall had a -2.3% decrease in undergraduates while four-year public institutions decreased by -1.6% and all institutions (including private institutions) decreased by -1.1%.
USG’s graduate student growth was .2% compared to declines of -.3% for four-year publics and -1% for all institutions nationally, according to National Student Clearinghouse data.
Within USG, institutions with enrollment growth included the Georgia Institute of Technology (3.3%), Augusta University (2.2%), Gordon State College (1.4%), the University of Georgia (1.2%), South Georgia State College (1.1%), Georgia Gwinnett College (0.7%), Kennesaw State University (0.7%) and Albany State University (0.5%). Dalton State College maintained flat enrollment.
Dual enrollment across the system decreased by -14.9% compared to last fall. Since 2018, dual enrollment in USG institutions is down overall by -2.1%
Demographic numbers showed USG’s student population continues to become more diverse, as students identifying as Asian and Latino grew 7.5% and 2.7%, respectively, with slight declines in African American (-3.7%) and white (-4.6%) students.
The enrollment numbers were released in the USG’s annual fall semester enrollment report, which analyzes enrollment data by institution, age, gender, race and ethnicity, in-state, out-of-state and international students.univ system of ga fall enroll 22
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