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Class notes: North Georgias enrollment grows steadily
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North Georgia College & State University’s student enrollment has grown every year, except one, since 1994, when the campus was home to about 2,800 students.

This fall, more than 6,400 undergraduate students are enrolled at North Georgia — an increase of more than 124 percent since 1994.

Patricia Donat, vice president of academic affairs at North Georgia, said academic programs and faculty are attracting more students to the university, which she said is “no longer the state’s best-kept secret.

“Our enrollment management professional staff are telling the story of why North Georgia has become one of the leaders in higher education in the state,” she said.

Since last fall, the school has grown enrollment about 5 percent, when more than 6,100 undergraduates roamed the Dahlonega campus.

Currently, there are 510 graduate students enrolled — an increase of 1 percent from last year.

According to school officials, current enrollment figures include 220 students taking undergraduate and graduate classes at the new University Center | Ga. 400 in Cumming.

That campus opened this semester.

“North Georgia College & State University has had steady enrollment growth for many years, and we anticipate that it will continue at a modest rate,” said Kate Maine, the school’s spokeswoman, in an earlier interview with The Times.

“The university’s enrollment since fall 2001 has nearly doubled.”

Gainesville State College officials said their school is also looking at an increase in enrollment, predicting it to be between 2 and 3 percent higher than it was in fall 2011.

Gainesville State’s enrollment last year was around 8,500 students.

According to the University System of Georgia, a dozen schools in the state had decreases in enrollment this past fall.

But, the 2011 report stated, the enrollment statewide still set a record, with 318,027 students enrolled in the 35 public institutions.

That was an increase of about 2 percent from the year before.

North Georgia also posted growth in summer enrollment from last year. As a result of some military education programs, the summer enrollment was up almost 28 percent.

In January, Gainesville State and North Georgia will consolidate to form the University of North Georgia. The two institutions’ combined enrollment, as of this fall, would be nearly 15,000 students.

Lee Johnson covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: ljohnson@gainesvilletimes.com, facebook.com/TimesLeeJohnson, @LeeJTimes

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