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CCGA enrollment growth confirms success
Posted 11/23/2016 10:57AM

This editorial was written by The News on November 20:

College of Coastal Georgia continues to grow in enrollment — a real accomplishment that confirms how successful the college has become.

Many colleges throughout the nation continue to grow in student population, new academic offerings, campus expansion and much more — a process that can take decades.

Coastal's achievements have mushroomed at an extraordinary rate since it became a four-year school in 2008. The college has become a big attraction of Brunswick and Glynn County and well beyond. A recent report by the U.S. News and World Report ranked CCGA seventh among public state and regional colleges in the 12 southern states and 42nd among 113 state and private colleges in the South.

At that time, CCGA President Gregory Oloia said: "We are proud of this distinction to be ranked seventh in the U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges rankings as a state college and look forward to not only continuing to be a college of choice in Georgia and beyond but also continuing to make CCGA affordable and accessible for all of our students."

The accolades seem to be making an impact. With 3,529 students enrolled this semester, CCGA saw a 12.7 percent increase over the past year — the highest of all 29 institutions in the University System of Georgia. That is likely thanks in large part to the college expanding its academic programs and providing other opportunities for a diverse student population — including more than 500 veterans.

Coastal, as well as other USG schools, took a startling position with its tuition fee by not increasing it from a reasonable $4,434.

In August, CCGA opened it Mariner Village, its second residential hall that is bringing 214 additional students to the campus. That is paving the way for more venues that can attract all students to the college, including those who live off-campus. The new facility should encourage city of Brunswick officials and businesses to bring more restaurants and other amenities to the downtown area.

Coastal helps its students and the community in countless, meaningful ways — whether it is enriching the lives of students, offering an ecology symposium for the community or mentoring teachers. Earlier this month, economics professor Don Mathews released an important report about poverty in south Coastal Georgia and is planning more.

More and more, many high school students and their parents become obsessed with enrolling at Ivy League colleges and others described as top schools. Yet students graduate from CCGA every year ready to move on to post-secondary degrees or to successful careers, and all at a bargain price.

It is no wonder the college just keeps growing.

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