Early numbers show fewer students at Ga. colleges

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Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012

ATLANTA (AP) -- Preliminary figures show that more than half the schools in the University System of Georgia are teaching fewer students this fall than last year.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that final figures are not expected until next month.

However, early data provided to the newspaper shows the system reversing more than a decade of record-setting enrollment.

Early projections show the system enrolled 312,600 students by Sept. 6, a 1.1 percent drop from the 316,095 the prior year.

It is only the third time since 1978 that enrollment dropped.

The data indicates that five schools dropped by more than 10 percent: Fort Valley State University; and Bainbridge, Georgia Perimeter, East Georgia State and Gordon State colleges.

The enrollment drop comes at a challenging time as the system copes with a rugged economy.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)