The move toward 10,000 students at Albany State University has progressed with Southwest Georgia’s premiere four-year institution enrolling more students than ever. Albany State’s unofficial enrollment is now 4,467 students. The official enrollment number will be available in a few weeks.
With a number of factors contributing to ASU’s increased student population, communication has proven to be the key factor.
“An increase in effective communication with our students has definitely resulted in our record enrollment,” said Arna Albritten, dean for Academic Services and Registrar. “We have kept our students informed about all processes so that we can admit and retain as many students as possible. There is more communication among all our student service departments. It has been a total team effort among students, faculty, staff and our non-campus support system that includes parents, families and alumni.”
The university welcomed 270 more students than its previous record of 4,176 students in fall semester 2008. In 2007, student enrollment first hit the 4,000 mark at 4,033.
“We attended over 80 recruitment events, we had over 5,000 applicants, and we tried to do everything possible, based upon SAT and ACT test scores, to admit students earlier,” said Ronnie Jackson, interim director for the Office of Recruitment and Admissions. “These were some of the things we did over the previous year to increase the number of applicants that we enrolled.”
Jackson outlined a goal of the office to procure 30,000 prospects through a recruiting initiative recently installed called the Ram Pass.
“We know that to reach that goal of 10,000 students over the next few years we are going to have to really push and not wait until 2018,” said Jackson. “To do that we have to increase the number of prospects because prospects turn into inquiries, inquiries into applicants, applicants into admitted, and the admitted students turn into enrolled students.”
The Ram Pass is a card that contains all the information needed for prospective students to apply. The card is not only given to staff members in the Office of Recruitment and Admissions to disseminate, but to students, faculty, staff and alumni.
“We want to involve the whole campus in the recruiting process,” Jackson said. “We want to include alumni from all over the country and the world, and the easiest way to do that is with the Ram Pass.”
Jackson said the immediate goal of the university is to increase spring enrollment by reaching out to more first year transfer students, students who were admitted but did not attend in the fall, and students coming from junior colleges from around the state and elsewhere.
Earlier this year, Albany State recorded the highest ever enrollment for a spring semester at 4,051. Student population has been on the rise for Albany State’s spring semesters since 2006 when 3,524 (3,147 full-time) students were enrolled. The next year, population rose 8.1 percent to 3,809 (3,444 full-time), and rose another 2.4 percent last year to 3,902 (3563 full-time).
For more information regarding Albany State’s enrollment figures in previous years, visit the University System of Georgia’s website at www.usg.edu.