Students return to Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta. The university has the largest enrollment of any institution in the state. AJC FILE PHOTO.

Enrollment in Georgia’s university system reaches another record high

Student enrollment in Georgia’s public university system increased for the seventh consecutive year, officials said in a report Tuesday to the state’s Board of Regents.

This semester’s enrollment is 333,507, up 1.5% from the fall 2018 semester enrollment of 328,712. The new figures mark the fifth consecutive year the University System of Georgia has reported record high enrollment.

The system’s enrollment increase comes amid a decline in enrollment nationwide in recent years as fewer students graduate from high school. Georgia, though, has seen an increase in high school graduates and in population in recent years. System officials, though, warn they expect to see a sharp decline in high school graduates in Georgia by 2025 due to a predicted decline in population growth.

Georgia State University’s enrollment of about 53,600 students was, again, the highest in the system. Other universities, such as Kennesaw State, reported record enrollment. Kennesaw State is hiring 110 new faculty members and advisors this year to supplement the growth, it said Tuesday.

Here are five additional takeaways from the report:

Dual enrollment is up again

High school students taking college courses through the state’s Dual Enrollment program continues to increase. This fall, 12,597 students are in the program. Last fall, there were 12,394 students in the program.

Georgia Tech’s online enrollment continues to rise

Georgia Tech’s enrollment increased by 11% this year, to 36,489 students. University System leaders credit the increase to Georgia Tech’s online courses.

Enrollment decline at state colleges

There’s a small decrease in student enrollment at the system’s state universities. Enrollment at those nine institutions dropped by 1.2% from 65,758 last year to 64,985 students this year. The system’s state colleges include all three historically black universities - Albany State, Fort Valley State and Savannah State. Each saw an enrollment decline.

More students of color

Nearly 52% of students in the system are non-white. Last year marked the first year the majority of University System students are non-white. The biggest increases are among Asian and Hispanic students. Their enrollment increased by a combined 5,254 students.

More international students

The number of students listed as “out-of-country” increased by about 1,700 students this fall, to 19,265. The increase comes as some reports show a decrease in international college students nationwide.

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