Chattahoochee Technical College, which encompasses eight campuses with four in Cobb County, recorded a decrease in enrollment for fall, while Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta increased its student population by about 6 percent.
Kennesaw State University, which is Georgia’s third largest college, will not have preliminary enrollment figures available until September.
Chattahoochee Technical College
Chattahoochee Tech spokesperson Rebecca Long said 11,950 students have registered for the 2013 fall semester. Last fall, it had about 12,400 students or 500 more than the current semester.
“These preliminary numbers will continue to change significantly over the next 72 hours, as students can still register this weekend and the first payment deadline for tuition and fees occurs Friday at noon,” she said.
Long said enrollment is down because like most technical or community colleges statewide and nationally, variations in enrollment are based on the status of the economy, job security and unemployment.
“The more secure people feel in their current jobs, the less likely they are to attend college to change jobs,” she said.
Long said Chattahoochee Tech officials, however, are confident that the most recent changes that return the grade point average requirement from 3.0 to 2.0 will allow students to find college more economically feasible.
“Combined with the new Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant Award and other financial options, CTC with its low tuition should continue to see strong enrollment numbers of students accessing the college either as first time students, nontraditional or returning,” she said.
Chattahoochee’s three most popular programs of study are health science, technical specialist and business and technical.
“The percentage of students in these areas has remained very steady over the past few years,” Long said.
Chattahoochee Tech welcomes back students Monday.
Southern Polytechnic State University
Southern Polytechnic State University is looking at a 6 percent increase in student enrollment.
Jim Cooper, a spokesman with SPSU, said early indications are that enrollment at Southern Polytechnic will approach 6,600 this fall, increasing from last year’s number of about 6,200 by around 6 percent.
“We expect to enroll our largest freshman class ever, with the number of first-year students having increased by 9 percent over last year’s class,” Cooper said.
Southern Poly’s largest undergraduate majors are mechanical engineering, information technology, computer science, electrical engineering and architecture.
The school’s most popular graduate programs are information technology, accounting and the MBA, with the fastest growing programs being new media arts, which has doubled in size over last year, mechanical engineering, which is up by one-third, and accounting and electrical engineering, both of which are up by 25 percent over last year.
On-campus housing is also seeing a shift in population because of the influx in enrollment.
“We are experiencing unprecedented demand for on-campus housing,” said the school’s director of Campus Services, Kasey Helton.
“Students and their parents are seeing the real value of a polytechnic education where our graduates contribute to the economic development of the region, our academic programs provide relevance in meeting the needs of industry, and the faculty and staff are focused on student success,” said Dr. Ron Koger, vice president for Student and Enrollment Services.
Kennesaw State University
Last fall, Kennesaw recorded its highest student population ever at 24,604, which was up by around 500 students more than in 2011 and up by nearly 4,000 students from 2007.
The five degrees with the largest populations include early childhood education, management, communication, accounting and nursing.
As a reflection of Kennesaw State’s growth, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia announced Wednesday it was elevating the institution’s status from a “state university” to a “comprehensive university.”
Kennesaw President Dan Papp said this designation is a defining moment in the school’s 50-year history.
“It is the result of the dedication and shared vision of the entire Kennesaw State community,” he said. “Our faculty and staff have worked extremely hard to increase our master’s and doctoral program offerings, to expand our research and grant activity, and to raise our global profile.”
Comprehensive universities offer degrees at the undergraduate through doctoral level.
KSU offers 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including professional doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in International Conflict Management.
The first day of classes for KSU was Saturday.