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University of North Georgia enrollment up 5.4 percent
UNG Dahlonega

The University of North Georgia’s enrollment grew 5.4 percent for the fall semester, according to figures released by the University System of Georgia.

Hannah Bates, one of the school’s 18,219 students, said increasing numbers of students have already caused parking problems and issues with registering for classes.

She is enrolled on the Dahlonega campus, but she picked out an apartment and moved in before she realized her major was only offered on the Gainesville campus.

Registration for spring was slated to start Nov. 3, but Bates would have to wait three weeks since she isn’t technically a student on the Gainesville campus.

“My adviser helped me out a lot. It’s been really bad these past few semesters,” Bates said. “They all got so full so fast.”

It was also hard for her to arrange her schedule to account for her travel time.

Freshman student Brooke Lovell agreed.

“Registration might be easier if there were more classes added every semester,” she said.

UNG spokeswoman Sylvia Carson said the school was cognizant of this issue.

“The current class schedule and curriculum is continuously being reviewed and assessed so that it best serves our students,” Carson wrote in an email.

In order to balance out the rise in students, the school has amped up its faculty and staff.

“This growth is a positive trend and reflects UNG’s consistent recognition as one of the best values in higher education,” said UNG President Bonita Jacobs in a press release.

“We are strategically managing this growth and have added 70 new faculty positions and 48 new staff positions so that we can continue to promote student success, maintain high academic standards and access to student support services.”

Bates is one of many that make the hourlong commute back and forth between campuses, but she said most classes are 15 minutes apart, not allowing her to take many courses.

“I got really lucky this semester. Normally it doesn’t work out so well,” Bates said.

And once she gets to her destination, whichever campus it may be, parking proves to be a struggle each time.

“Parking is way worse in Dahlonega than it is in Gainesville,” she said.

Bates isn’t alone in her frustrations with the increase in the student population.

“We’re already bursting at the seams,” Kale Smith said.

Smith is a junior at the school and said he is not looking forward to a school with more students in it.

UNG has the second-highest number of dual-enrolled students within the university system with 852, according to the school’s press release.

Student diversity was another subject the press release noted. The school’s number of Hispanic students increased from 1,835 to 2,085, the number of Asian students increased from 552 to 610, and the number of African- American students increased from 732 to 829.