December 7, 2009
09-215

Thressea Boyd
Director of Communications

Enrollment Reaches Historic Record

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University reached another milestone as fall 2009 enrollment achieved 12,391 students -- representing an increase of 7.84 percent from fall 2008 and the institution’s largest one-year enrollment growth in 16 years. Overall the number of undergraduate students is up 6.39 percent, with 10,328 students enrolled. Graduate student enrollment is up 15.77 percent, representing 2,063 students.

“The overall goal of Valdosta State is to provide a service to the region and our effectiveness is judged one student at a time,” said President Patrick J. Schloss. “The enrollment increase demonstrates the extent to which we are achieving our goal. We deeply appreciate that each students and members of their family recognize the quality of education they receive at Valdosta State University and trust their future to our great faculty and staff.”

In keeping with the national trend in higher education, Valdosta State’s female-to-male ratio is 1.57:1 and females represent 61.15 percent of the total enrollment. This semester’s freshmen class represents 29.63 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment, followed by seniors (19.88 percent), sophomores (17.14 percent) and juniors (16.26 percent).

Students enrolled for fall semester 2009 represent 156 Georgia counties, 45 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Washington D.C., and 69 countries. Lowndes, Gwinnett and Fulton counties accounted for the most Valdosta State students with 2,042, 660 and 531 students respectively. A strong supporter of international studies, Valdosta State welcomed 286 international students to campus this semester.

This year’s first-time, full-time freshmen class of 2,422 students represents a 15 percent increase from fall 2008, with the largest group coming from metro Atlanta (44 percent) and Southwest Georgia (24 percent).

Austin Tilton, a freshman from Peachtree City, Ga., said he was drawn to Valdosta State because of its location and campus architecture.

“The reason I chose Valdosta State when I came to visit I fell in love with the campus,” Tilton said. “I absolutely love the Spanish architecture of the buildings and the palm trees.”

Located approximately 250 miles south of Atlanta, Valdosta State’s location offers a perfect choice for college students desiring to be close to home, yet with enough distance to still enjoy some independence.

“I love my parents, but I also love the freedom that Valdosta gives me -- it is the perfect distance away from home that they can’t just pop in but not far enough that when I get homesick or need some home cooked meals I can’t go home,” Tilton said.

The international business major took his college selection process seriously and looked at several public universities before choosing Valdosta State.

“When looking for a university I looked for diversity of people,” Tilton said. “I also looked for a school where I know I can have fun on the weekends but stay focused on my studies.”

Fellow freshman classmate Kyler Dessau, from Hampton, Ga., agrees with Tilton’s selection criteria. “I chose VSU because of its beautiful scenery, new dormitories, location, weather and psychology department.”

After conducting an exhaustive search of more than seven Georgia colleges and universities, Dessau was pleased with her selection of Valdosta State and said she is enjoying her new home in Georgia Hall and overall campus life.

“The things I looked for when searching for a university included location, clean campus, abundant amount of student organizations and clubs, racial diversity, big football and basketball programs, good student to teacher ratio and a school with my major,” she said.

Additional Valdosta State University enrollment information is available on the Web at: www.valdosta.edu/sra .