Fall 2004 Stats Show Another Record CSU Enrollment

A final analysis of Columbus State Universitys fall 2004 enrollment has been completed and it shows another record-breaking enrollment at CSU this year. And when evaluated over the long run, shows CSU has realized a 47 percent increase in students over the past five years.

At the beginning of the semester, campus officials predicted the enrollment would top 7,000 students for the first time in its history. A final analysis shows the number actually reached 7,224. That total is a 4 percent increase over the fall 2003 class of 6,937 students.

Growing at a rate of about 4 percent a year is trend CSU administrators would like to continue.

We fully expect more and more students from throughout the South, indeed the country, to discover the excellence we have here in Columbus and at CSU, said President Frank Brown. Here on campus we have to be sure that we are still providing the faculty and the support and the learning environment that makes this a special place to prepare for life and career success.

The economy, the growing stature of the university and a more aggressive recruitment program have likely spurred the growth over the past five years as CSU experienced unprecedented growth from the fall 1999 class of 4,911 students.

Administrators are now hoping the state budget picture will improve to allow for a correlated growth in faculty and student support during the next fiscal year.

Expanding the teaching ranks especially is a priority, to keep up with changes in the student body. The fall 2004 enrollment report paints a clear picture of how CSU has changed in recent years.

In 1999, there were 1,655 freshmen, 888 seniors and 633 graduate students at CSU. This year, there are 2,373 freshmen, 1,225 seniors and 924 graduate students.

The ratio of men-to-women at CSU is following a nationwide trend and slowly becoming more and more skewed. This year, about 62 percent of the student body is female.

Almost 30 percent of the students identify themselves as African-American; three percent as Hispanic (the largest increase, percentage-wise, over last year); and 60 percent as white.

About 34 percent of students are under 21, while 65 percent of students are under 26 years old. About 11 percent of students are 41 years old or older this semester.

Less than half of this years students are from Muscogee County, while 92 students come from foreign countries, 445 students are from Alabama and 462 come from other states. At least 600 students enrolled this semester call the Atlanta area home since 598 students are from Clayton, Cobb, DeKaulb, Couglas, Fulton and Gwinnett counties alone.

CSU has been targeting Atlanta students specifically for the last couple of years, and the attraction seems to be mutual. The new residence halls, which offer apartment-style living, are a big selling point to studen ts from out of town, said Kathy Carlisle, director of enrollment services.

CSU opened a new complex of residence halls this fall, giving the university almost 1,000 students in on-campus housing.