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Enrollment numbers grow moderately nearing 20,000

November 11, 2020

Enrollment for fall 2020 at the University of North Georgia (UNG) hit a new record with 19,793 students on its five campuses across the region, an increase of 0.23% from fall 2019 figures.

"The exceptional academic and student development experiences UNG provides, in combination with our commitment to student success and affordability, continue to attract talented students," UNG President Bonita Jacobs said. "Based on this demand and regional population growth, we expect UNG to continue to experience moderate enrollment growth over the next decade."

While UNG's Gainesville Campus has the highest number of students at 7,529, the other four campuses in Blue Ridge, Cumming, Dahlonega, and Oconee County contributed to the overall enrollment increase.

At UNG's Dahlonega Campus, student enrollment this fall reached 7,322. The university's only residential campus is in Dahlonega, which is also home to UNG's Corps of Cadets.

The Blue Ridge Campus recorded the highest percentage increase among all the campuses at 15.7% to a new high of 228 students. Sandy Ott, director of the Blue Ridge Campus, credits the completion of the new stand-alone building and additional course offerings for the gain.

"We were able to offer the first education classes for our education majors. That's huge for us," she said. "And this is just the beginning. Our 15% growth says the future is even brighter for fall 2021."

The Cumming Campus increased its enrollment by 6.4%. Jason Pruitt, executive director of the Cumming Campus, attributes the growth to a rise in the dual-enrollment program, which hit 400 this year. It is the second highest dual-enrollment population on UNG's campuses. The largest is the Gainesville Campus with 606.

"It's a record for us," Pruitt said. "It shows the demand for this program. Students who attend schools around our campus and their parents are very interested in the opportunity to get college courses under their belt before they become college freshmen."

Among all University System of Georgia (USG) schools, UNG ranked No. 2 with 1,560 dual-enrollment students. Georgia State University is No. 1 with 2,296.  

The Oconee Campus also saw more students on campus this fall, marking a 4.4% increase. The campus serves 2,504 students.

"I believe it speaks volumes about the student-centered culture we strive to maintain at UNG even in the midst of a global pandemic," Cyndee Perdue Moore, executive director of the Oconee Campus, said. "Our proximity to Athens, Georgia, provides a college town experience for students, but I believe having the perks of a small campus is the real draw."

Based on the figures, UNG joined 15 other USG schools that reported a rise in enrollment. Fall 2020 enrollment for the 26 USG colleges and universities totaled 341,485 students, an increase of 2.4% over fall 2019.

Enrollment numbers were released in the USG Fall 2020 Semester Enrollment Report, which breaks down enrollment by institution, class, race and ethnicity, in-state, out-of-state and international students, as well as gender and age.

"USG institutions have pursued a mission of teaching, research and service while prioritizing health and safety and providing a safe on-campus learning experience for students," USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. "The result is record enrollment and more students earning degrees than ever before. As we rise above the pandemic's challenges, USG remains committed to helping Georgia succeed by being more affordable, more efficient and most of all, preparing more students for life and work with a college degree."

Online graduate programs continue to reap higher enrollment numbers at UNG with 344 students enrolled in fall 2020. This is a 22% increase over last fall. Graduate-level programs are available in person at UNG's Cumming, Dahlonega, and Gainesville campuses, as well as online.

Student diversity also increased overall at UNG from 2019 to 2020. The number of Hispanic students increased by almost 5%, representing 15% of the entire student population. Additionally, the number of Asian students increased by 3.6%. The number of Black students grew by 1.4% while the number of students who self-identified as multi-racial rose by 10%.

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