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University of North Georgia enrollment rises 4.6 percent
Gainesville campus largest of four
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University of North Georgia campus-by-campus enrollment

Gainesville: 6,776

Dahlonega: 5,896

Oconee: 2,426

Cumming: 709

University of North Georgia

The current unverified enrollment number for the University of North Georgia rests at 15,769, up from last year’s 15,072.

“That is unduplicated head count,” said Kate Maine, director of university relations. “We have a number of students who are taking classes on multiple campuses.”

Broken down by campus, there are 6,776 students on the Gainesville campus, the former Gainesville State College. The Dahlonega campus is the second largest at 5,896 and Oconee has 2,426 students.

The Cumming campus is the smallest at 709, but it’s also experienced the most significant growth, having opened in the Fall 2012 semester with around 500 students. Maine said the majority at the Cumming campus are dual-enrolled high school students taking college-level courses in the mornings.

With the number of students at the different campuses adding up to 15,807, Maine said the difference is attributed to students taking courses at other locations, including online classes. The unduplicated enrollment number remained 15,769. The final verified total should be available by mid-October, she said.

Vice President of Student Affairs Tom Walter said the enrollment increase isn’t noticeable only by the numbers on paper.

“You can see in the gatherings of students, there are places where there’s tremendously more student traffic in areas like the student center,” Walter said. He added there have been instances when students are sitting on the floor in places like the library when they can’t find seating.

Additionally, officials at the newly merged university are still figuring out how to report each student.

“I wouldn’t call it a concern but something we’re trying to understand and manage is the fluidity that this new organization offers students in terms of which campuses they take classes on,” Maine said. “We have students who are taking classes on multiple campuses depending on their needs, and that has happened before but it hasn’t shown up in our reporting in the same way since we were separate institutions.”

For example, business students of the former North Georgia College & State University would take some classes at the Gainesville State College campus. However, they were clearly North Georgia students, and were reported as such.

The reporting discrepancy is also apparent in the numbers from Fall 2012. According to that semester report by the University System of Georgia, North Georgia College & State University had a 5.7 percent enrollment increase from Fall 2011, and Gainesville State College was up 1.1 percent. The 2012 report had the Gainesville State enrollment, including its main campus as well as Oconee and Cumming campuses, at 8,659.

But Maine said that’s not the most accurate comparison.

She said the 4.6 percent growth was not unexpected, and reflects the growth the individual campuses had seen in previous years.

“We have historically seen similar growth as North Georgia College & State University over many, many years,” Maine said. “Gainesville State College, though its growth had been a little bit flat due to some enrollment shift to Georgia Gwinnett College which is nearby, (due to) the impact of that and other academic programs in the area, their growth had been higher than many other two-year institutions ... in the University System of Georgia.”

Walter, who spent more than 20 years of his career at Gainesville State College, said he’s noticed an increase of excitement in the student body.

“I just get a sense that with the increase in student population, you can see more students involved in more of the activities,” he said. “You can see students that are engaged more with what’s going on on campus.”

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