November 13, 2000
00-215

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Valdosta State University announces fall semester 2000 enrollment numbers

Valdosta State University announces an enrollment of 8,792 students for fall semester 2000. This number represents an increase of 63 students from last fall semester's official head count of 8,729.

According to Gerald Wright, registrar, the fall semester head count was submitted to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) on Oct. 27.

This semester's freshman class saw an increase of approximately 114 students and the Graduate School had an increase of 17 percent in student enrollment.

According to Walter Peacock, director of Admissions, the university's highest enrollment was approximately 9,800 students in 1996. VSU had seen a decline in enrollment since this time, due to an increase in out-of-state tuition costs and the implementation of higher admissions standards.

In the fall of 1997 VSU was one of the first institutions to begin to aggressively phase in the higher admissions standards, which were mandated by the BOR for it for its 34 colleges and universities. Each institution has until the fall of 2001 to implement the new admissions requirements.

"We are very close, better than most within the system on implementing all the new admissions standards," Peacock said. "We've previously seen the largest cuts in enrollment. We leveled off this year and increased our freshman class."

With the increase in admissions standards, freshmen SAT scores at VSU have continued to rise. The average fall semester 2000 SAT score for VSU is tentatively 1,014, an increase of 64 points, from the 1996 average SAT score of 950.

"The increase in standards have definitely improved our student body," Peacock said. "We are going after high achievers. Our student body has changed without question."

The HOPE Scholarship was awarded to 3,217 VSU students for the 2000-2001 academic year. This number is expected to increase slightly in the spring semester due to transfer students.