Healthy Upward Enrollment Trend Continues at CSU

Enrollment at Columbus State University, which set another record this fall, has increased by 44 percent over the last five years, according to final numbers released by the University System of Georgia Tuesday.

The fall 2005 enrollment at CSU reached 7,475, up 3.4 percent from last year, following a statewide trend of more incremental growth in the system this year. CSU officials expect the gradual growth to become the norm in future years, as the university works to ensure the number of full-time faculty members, classrooms and sections offered regain the balance enjoyed before the student explosion seen in the past few years.

A complicating factor in that process is the way state budgets are planned. The universities receive money based on enrollment, but the process must begin about a year and a half before money is distributed. Therefore, the budget for this fiscal year is based on student enrollment from two years ago.

Weve seen phenomenal growth at Columbus State University over the last few years as more and more students discover this campus and the academic excellence we offer at every level, said CSU President Frank Brown. Were anticipating that growth will level out while we concentrate on providing our faculty the resources they need to continue providing a stellar education in an intimate setting.

CSU continues to attract more and more students from out of the local area especially the Atlanta area. Officials credit the expansion to a variety of factors, including recognition of our academic, scholarship opportunities, faculty credentials and available housing.

Brandi Malone, for example, came to CSU this fall for her freshman year from Cobb County, about 20 minutes north of Atlanta. She said she was attracted to CSU because it is not too big and it offered the department she was looking for: criminal justice. Ive wanted to be a police officer since I can remember, she said. I wanted to venture out on my own. I went to (CSUs) Web site and I was impressed.

She said most of her friends in the CSU student housing complex are from out of town and most of them chose CSU because of its size, location and the academic offerings. There are a lot of people from Gwinnett County, Jonesboro and Newnan. A lot of them are nursing and education majors, she said. CSU has the programs they wanted and its not too close to home.

Obviously, more and more students have been feeling the same way. For the last five years, the fall enrollment at CSU has been:

2000, 5,191
2001, 5,522
2002, 6,250
2003, 6,937
2004, 7,224
2005, 7,475

Other information gleaned about the fall 2005 student body:

  • 33 percent are freshman, a 41.6 percent increase over the last five years
  • 61 percent are female
  • 31 percent are African American
  • 11 percent are graduate students
  • The average age of the student body is 26.2
  • Almost 11 percent are enrolled in teacher education, the most popular department on campus.

For a complete analysis of the fall 2005 student enrollment, visit http://aa.colstate.edu/reports/facts05/enr_fa05.htm.