November 6, 2012
VSU Announces Official Fall 2012 Enrollment Numbers
VALDOSTA –Valdosta State University’s official fall enrollment is set at 12,515 students (10,290 undergraduate and 2,225 graduate students). This represents a decrease of 4.4 percent from fall 2011.
An area of decline was within the freshman class, which was down by 295 first-time/full-time students from fall 2011. This was primarily attributed to the decision last year to increase the university’s minimum SAT requirements from 850 to 900, with a minimum score of 430 critical reading and 400 math, as required by the University System of Georgia (USG).
“Valdosta State University is committed to strategic enrollment growth, and we will accomplish that growth by retaining more of the students we admit,” said VSU President William J. McKinney. “Growth through retention is achieved by admitting a more academically prepared entering class and by providing the best possible living and learning environment for all of our students.”
Last year, as part of the university’s overall strategic enrollment efforts to recruit more academically talented students, VSU implemented an Honors College scholarship. This year 52 new scholarships were awarded, resulting in a 50 percent increase in the incoming class enrollment, with 146 students enrolled so far. Of these students, 112 had SAT scores of 1200 or above, based on a maximum score 1600 on math and critical reading.
VSU honor students are required to have a global experience, which can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, such as taking nine credit hours of a foreign language, participating in a study abroad program or other approved activities. In addition, honor students are required to prepare a thesis prior to completing their Honors College track.
This semester 88.3 percent of students are from Georgia and represent 157 out of 159 Georgia counties, with Lowndes, Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb counties accounting for the most students. Valdosta State’s student body now includes students from 49 states, the District of Columbia, America Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, in addition to 79 countries around the world.
Within the Graduate School enrollment in doctoral programs increased by 15.3 percent from fall 2011, with the largest increase within the Doctorate of Public Administration (DPA) program, which had a 28.8 percent growth in enrollment.
The DPA program was first offered in the fall of 2007 and is mostly an Internet-based program that allows students to complete their terminal degree while continuing fulltime employment.
According to Dr. Nolan Argyle, professor and coordinator of the DPA program, students currently enrolled in the program reside coast-to-coast including Florida, New York, California and Canada.
“Valdosta State’s DPA program is designed for site-bound practitioners who could not obtain a doctorate through a traditional residency program,” said Argyle. “Our students come from all levels of government, as well as from non-profit, college and university settings.”
For more than a decade, VSU has offered online graduate programs including education specialists, master’s level education degrees, and a DPA.
According to VSU’s office of Strategic Research and Analysis, there is a 10.5 percent increase in the number of students who are enrolled in at least one online course this semester, representing 24.4 percent of VSU’s total fall enrollment, and 11 percent of these students are enrolled in online courses full time.
In an effort to expand accessibility for students across Georgia and the nation wanting to obtain a bachelor’s degree, VSU has implemented online undergraduate degrees in Organizational Leadership, Office Administration and Technology, Criminal Justice and Legal Assistant Studies.
These programs offer flexibility and accessibility for working adults who want to earn a bachelor’s degree.
University System of Georgia
The University System of Georgia reports its 35 colleges and universities enrolled a total of 314,367 students for the fall 2012 semester. This is a decrease of 1.2 percent (3,662) students from the fall 2011 enrollment of 318,027.
The enrollment numbers were released in the System’s “Fall 2012 Semester Enrollment Report,” which breaks down enrollment by institution, class (freshman, sophomore, etc.), race and ethnicity, in-state, out of state and foreign students, as well as gender and age.