Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Enrollment Breaks UWG Records

CARROLLTON, Ga. – This fall at the University of West Georgia, enrollment reached an all-time high of 11,647 students, according to preliminary figures released by the university.

Of that number, 10,031 are undergraduates, breaking another record and marking the first time undergraduate enrollment has exceeded 10,000.

Another record was set in credit hours, at 138,563, the preliminary figures show.

A number of factors contributed to this semester’s growth, according to Scot A. Lingrell, the vice president of student affairs and enrollment management.

Lingrell cited the “transformation of the strategies and techniques” of the admissions department, which worked hard to convert more applicants to enrolled students.

He said the department created efficiencies in the admissions process that resulted in reduced waiting periods for applicants. He also said the enhanced quality of publications targeting prospective students and an increase in social-networking strategies helped.

Lingrell additionally credits the faculty and the academic programs that attract students along with the new Go West branding campaign.

“Certainly the branding campaign had a lot to do with the success, but at this point it is much too early to attribute a specific amount of our enrollment increases to it,” he said.

Lingrell noted that enrollment would have been higher if not for “our record-breaking graduation of students, our highest graduation rate ever,” earlier this year.

On the graduate level, Lingrell attributes enrollment successes to more streamlined admission processes, more support from the college level and relevant graduate programs.

UWG students hail from 134 Georgia counties, 41 states and 72 countries.

Since UWG students generally have a high level of eligibility for financial aid, the changes in Georgia’s HOPE scholarship, which resulted in more costs being borne by students, probably did affect enrollment negatively. But it is significant that these records were achieved in spite of those changes to the HOPE scholarship.

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