How AU plans to cope with growth in enrollment

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 11:17 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Enrollment numbers are down across the country for universities.

But Augusta University is one of eight schools out of 26 in the University System of Georgia that has seen an increase since the fall of 2021. According to AU President Brooks Keel, the plan has always been to increase school enrollment.

Here’s how they plan to handle the growing student body.

This fall, AU’s student enrollment grew by 2.2%, adding 207 new students to their roster.

Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Dr. Susan Davies says they have a plan to accommodate the growing student body. She says this new growth is all a part of the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan the school launched in May.

“It outlines our plans for future growth between now and 2030. And it also outlines our plans for adding dining, parking and classroom spaces, and other opportunities for our students as we grow,” said Davies.

They have seen the most growth in graduate school enrollment.

“Most of our growth has been with graduate student enrollment. We’ve added new graduate programs and also shifted graduate programs to online,” she said.

But they are still seeing a huge increase in out-of-town students.

“Fifty-seven percent of our new incoming freshmen students were from outside of the CSRA this year, and so they definitely need housing and parking on campus,” said Davies.

Davies says the plan to achieve a student body of 16,000 by 2030 starts with a new parking deck.

“In terms of our growth, I know a lot of people often ask about how we’re going to manage parking, classrooms, and other essential needs that we have for our students. We are excited that the Board of Regents approved for us to build a parking deck on the health sciences campus,” she said.

AU has three on-campus dorms right now, but a new one is on the list for the future.

“In the interim, we’re hopeful that the Augusta community will become more of a college town feel for us and offer some opportunities for our students to live adjacent to campus. You know, before we’re able to build that next residence hall,” she said.

Even with the growth, they want to make sure the small-town college feel is never lost.