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Record-breaking enrollment growth continues at GSW with state’s highest growth in summer semester

Georgia Southwestern made significant gains in enrollment for Summer 2021, recording the highest growth by percentage in the University System of Georgia (USG) with a notable 10.3 percent increase. GSW’s enrollment was up by nearly 200 students over the previous year, with 1,968 students taking one or more classes this summer.

This summer growth continues a trend of increasing enrollment for Georgia Southwestern. In Fall 2020, GSW saw the highest total enrollment since the institution’s founding in 1906. Similarly, in Spring 2021, GSW recorded a 5.6 percent increase from the previous year with a total of 2,871 students.

This increase comes in a year when overall USG enrollment was down 2 percent over Summer 2020 numbers, which marks the first statewide decrease in enrollment since 2014.

“Georgia Southwestern continues to be a leading institution in the state,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “For the second year in a row, GSW has set an all-time record with the highest summer numbers in the University’s 115-year existence. GSW provides a tremendous value to our students and to our region. When you factor together high-quality instruction and affordability, GSW quickly becomes one of the best values in the state and in the country, making it a desired destination of higher learning.”

In addition to overall enrollment, GSW’s number of full-time students over the summer also saw a 10.6 percent increase, with 21 percent of all summer students taking 12 or more credit hours.

The biggest enrollment gains were seen in graduate courses, specifically the MBA program, the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and the addition of the new Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership.

For some students, summer courses were an introduction to college classes and the opportunity to get ahead. Many students enrolled in graduate programs used summer courses as a way to advance an already established career, including two-time GSW alumna Heidi Goodin.

Goodin, Chattahoochee-Flint RESA STEM Coordinator, said she was excited to be enrolled in GSW’s Specialist of Education program. Having earned her bachelor’s and master’s in education from GSW’s College of Education, Goodin said it was only fitting that she pursue her third teaching degree at her alma mater.

“I have always found the professors, instructors, faculty and staff to be easily approachable,” said Goodin, “and always willing to lend a helping hand. The location of Georgia Southwestern has always been a huge plus and the cost of the program is most affordable.”

Rachel Abbott, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education, was happy to see their revised efforts due to the pandemic were successful in reaching teachers around the state and helping to increase enrollment, especially in the education specialist programs.

GSW reported that almost every academic area was up this summer including dual enrollment, transfers, undergraduates and graduates.

GSW will resume Fall classes on Wednesday, August 18. There’s still time to apply, but act fast. GSW admissions counselors are available and ready to assist prospective students by phone and email. For more information, visit, email, or call 229-928-1273.