A total of 5,988 students are enrolled in the college this fall, compared to 5,722 students this time last year. Full-time equivalent students numbered 5,045 compared to 4,720 during the fall of 2009.
“These are wonderful enrollment numbers, and we are especially pleased that the FTE numbers have grown significantly because our state funding is based upon the number of full time students enrolled rather than upon student headcount,” says Jodi Johnson, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services.
“We have experienced steady growth over the past few years,” Johnson continues. “Factors that have fueled that growth include the addition of residential facilities, in the fall of 2009, which has allowed us to recruit students from other geographical areas and even internationally.
“As we have added baccalaureate programs, we have not only recruited new students, but we have also retained greater numbers of lower division students who would have transferred previously. We have also seen a significant number of people who were previously in the workforce return to school for additional training in their field to make themselves more marketable or to make a career change.”
The University System of Georgia (USG) enrolled a total of 311,442 students, an increase of 3.2 percent over fall 2009, officials said. Last year, total enrollment in the 35 institutions that comprise the University System of Georgia numbered 301,892.
Among the eight state colleges, FTE enrollment increased an average of 9.7 percent overall, which marked the highest percentage increase among the five types of institutions, which include research universities, regional universities, state universities, state colleges, and two-year colleges.
While system-wide, this year’s increase of 3.2 percent is smaller than the 6.7 percent jump (18,914 students) from fall 2008 to fall 2009, it tracks the annual percentage increases seen over recent years: 2.5 percent from fall 2005 to fall 2006, 3.9 percent from fall 2006 to fall 2007; and 4.8 percent from fall 2007 to fall 2008. The average percentage increase over the 2006-2010 period is almost 4 percent.
Minority students continued to enroll at a higher percentage rate than the overall student population in fall 2010.
The biggest percentage growth came in Hispanic enrollment, which jumped 14.5 percent, or 1,847 students, from fall 2009 to fall 2010. Total Hispanic enrollment is now at 12,734, or 4.7 percent of total enrollment. In 2009, Hispanic enrollment was 4.2 percent of all students. Looking at gender, females make up 57.5 percent of total enrollment. This percentage is down from last year, by exactly point one-tenth of a percent. This fall there are 179,031 females and 132,409 males enrolled in the USG.
First-time freshmen students total 49,368 in fall 2010, an increase of just 211 students, or .4 percent.
At Dalton State, the average age of students is 25, which is lower than the average was several years ago, when the student body was largely part-time and the average age was 28.