VSU Enrollment Trends Further Down despite Statewide Increase

| November 5, 2015


VALDOSTA — The University System of Georgia today released enrollment data for Georgia’s colleges and universities.  Despite an overall growth in 2015 Fall enrollment statewide, Valdosta State University saw another dip in enrollment.

There are 30 colleges and universities in the Georgia System with over 318,000 students attending in the Fall of this year.  The state saw an increase of 1.7% over the same period last year and makes for two straight years of enrollment increases statewide.

However, the enrollment at VSU has again dropped.  Fall enrollment fell to 11, 250 students in 2015.  This is down from a high of 13,000 students in the same period of 2011.  This drop comes in spite of several initiatives the school has undertaken to turn the tide.

Dr. Cecil Staton, the interim president of Valdosta State, released a statement addressing this decline.

“There are a number of initiatives on campus that are focused upon increasing enrollment next year,” Staton noted in his release.  “Our VSU 70/80 Task Force on Retention is working to refocus our campus upon student success and satisfaction. Their goal is to find ways to improve our retention rates from the current 70 percent to 80 percent by removing barriers to student success.”

Staton believes some of the effort is already paying dividends.  Efforts such as offering in-state tuition to contiguous states’ students and a marketing campaign are already paying off.

“Another important initiative is our $2 million branding, imaging, and marketing campaign called VSYOU. We are pleased that our applications for fall 2016 are approximately double what they were the same time last year. This is in some measure impacted by our ability to charge in-state tuition to students from Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama,” Staton said.

The school’s place as a cornerstone of the local economy makes this news serious, but the outlook seems to be pointing to improvement.

Staton concluded, “This is a good sign that more students are considering VSU. I am confident our enrollment numbers will trend upwards. VSU is often referred to as a hidden gem in Georgia higher education. We are going to make sure it is hidden no longer, and that this gem shines with all the luster it deserves.”


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3 Comments on "VSU Enrollment Trends Further Down despite Statewide Increase"

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  1. Elmore Wrathmore says:

    Well DUH….no one wants to go to school in “New Albany”.

  2. MommaLissa says:

    Too much crime in Valdosta and the secret is out.

  3. Don Thieme says:

    The enrollment decline is not “in spite of” the initiatives to increase enrollment. The initiatives were undertaken in response to the enrollment decline. This announcement from the USG reports a decline that was “news” back in August.