By LAUREN MCDONALD firstname.lastname@example.org
College of Coastal Georgia broke a school record and led the University System of Georgia this fall in student enrollment growth.
Coastal logged its highest enrollment in the institution's history at 3,529 students, leading all 29 institutions in the USG with a 12.7 percent enrollment growth over last fall.
"Established as a 'college of choice' for the state of Georgia and beyond, Coastal Georgia continues to fulfill our mission to provide accessible, high-quality, affordable learning opportunities while strengthening our commitment to academic excellence and innovation," said Gregory Aloia, CCGA's president. "That's pretty awesome in my book."
CCGA is in its eighth year as a four-year institution. During the past three years, Coastal has increased its enrollment and degree offerings.
"Of course we are proud of the enrollment growth," said Jason Umfress, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. "But we are most proud of being able to provide access to a diverse population of students."
The college saw enrollment increases across the board — in first time students, full-time freshmen, veterans, students in the Move On When Ready program and adult learners.
"We have taken important steps the past few years to streamline the admissions process and to ensure we remain accessible to our community, our state and beyond," Umfress said.
Coastal has also increased its efforts to reduce student debt and make higher education more accessible by implementing initiatives to reduce the cost of attendance.
"From reducing the cost of textbooks and lowering student fees, to streamlining graduation requirements, we are serious about doing all we can to help make college affordable for our students," said Jeff Preston, vice president for business affairs.
Aloia said this is an exciting time for CCGA, and the college will continue striving to offer an accessible, quality education to students.
"When we reflect on the great things we are accomplishing at the college, it is truly awe-inspiring," Aloia said. "All of these things have been accomplished as a result of the extraordinary efforts of a dedicated team of faculty, staff and foundation members working to help our students be successful. I really can't think of a better word to describe it than 'awesome.'"