University System of Georgia awards record number of degrees

Graduates listen to the speakers during the 2021 commencement ceremony at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Two ceremonies were held Saturday for bachelor’s degree recipients, and master's and doctoral graduates' ceremonies were held Friday. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

caption arrowCaption
Graduates listen to the speakers during the 2021 commencement ceremony at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Two ceremonies were held Saturday for bachelor’s degree recipients, and master's and doctoral graduates' ceremonies were held Friday. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

COVID-19, and the many challenges it presented, didn’t make it easy for the college college students who graduated this past school year from Georgia’s public university system.

Yet, they graduated in record numbers.

Nearly 73,000 degrees were awarded during a 12-month stretch that ended June 30, the largest number of recipients in its 90-year history, officials announced Tuesday. The total of 72,929 degrees is 3 percentage points higher than the prior 12-month period, officials said.

“Students continue to show incredible fortitude despite the challenges of the pandemic, and I am incredibly grateful for their hard work and the support given to them by USG’s 26 public colleges and universities,” Acting University System of Georgia Chancellor Teresa MacCartney said in a statement. “Institutions understand how critical it is for Georgians to complete their degrees and join the state’s highly skilled workforce. As we look forward to a new academic year on campus, USG remains focused on fulfilling that mission and helping students succeed.”

University System officials attributed the increase to its ongoing “Momentum Year” program, aimed at helping more students graduate on time by helping them determine what courses they need and quickly identifying when students need help academically. They also believe its Nexus degree program, which partners with businesses to create curriculum in high-demand industries, is also helping increase the number of degrees awarded.

About the Author

Editors' Picks