News 12 This Morning at 6 o'clock //Monday, July 9, 2012
AUGUSTA, GA -- As Augusta State University gets ready to consolidate, the excitement on campus keeps building. New numbers show more students are applying this summer to get into the school. Along with the number of applications increasing, the university also increased the number of students they are accepting for the fall semester.
Si-Long Chen will finish out her last two semesters at ASU under a new name once it consolidates with Georgia Health Sciences University. Chen, a senior at ASU, said, "The reputation is going to go up."
It could be one of the factors leading to the University seeing 15 percent jump in the number of applicants this summer, compared to last summer.
Carol Rychly, the Vice President of academic affairs, explained, "We are not really sure why are number are up, but we will do a survey in the fall once students are here to determine why they chose ASU. We're thinking a lot of it has to do with the excitement generated by our consolidation."
A significant increase for what was mostly considered a community college for students living in the CSRA, like Chen. "It's close to where I live," she said.
This fall the university will also make room for more students, with 28 percent more students being accepted than last year. "I mean we are going to be maxing out, but we do have enough classroom space enough faculty to handle the number we have accepted," Rychly added.
"It's not so much a community school anymore," Chen said.
The plan is to place more recruiters throughout the state to attract more students. "We will have a new recruiter, two new recruiters who will recruit in the Atlanta area," said Rychly. "That's really where the growth in the state is occurring."
As the look to make a statewide impact, the university is looking to give incoming students something to brag about, Rychly added, "You can say I was in the first class of the new university. It is a very exciting place to be."
In addition to the growth in the number of students, the university is looking to expand their programs as well. They are looking into the possibility of offering a Ph.D. in Education to students.