From the President
Georgia State's student body and incoming freshman class are the largest ever.
We’re off to another terrific start to the academic year at Georgia State University. This fall, we welcomed our largest, most academically qualified freshman class in the institution’s history, and we began our first full academic year with Perimeter College integrated into the university.
On our Atlanta campus, more than 3,700 freshmen enrolled this fall, up from 3,350 in 2015. This year’s class was selected from a record pool of more than 17,000 applicants, an increase of 28 percent over last fall.
Georgia State is increasingly becoming the destination of choice for thousands of high school graduates in Georgia. Including Perimeter College, 6,100 freshmen are enrolled at Georgia State, bringing our student body to more than 50,000 students, the largest in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation.
It has been great to see students across our campuses sporting blue-and-white gear and showing their Panther pride. This year, there are more than 5,300 students living on campus downtown with the recent opening of a new 1,152-bed residence hall, Piedmont Central, at the corner of John Wesley Dobbs and Piedmont avenues. As more and more students live on or very near campus the vitality and excitement of our student body become more and more evident.
The opening of Piedmont Central makes it possible for us to house 20 percent of our downtown undergraduate student body on campus. This has been a goal in our capital plan for a number of years, because data show students living in university housing have higher graduation rates and grade point averages and are more engaged in campus life.
In addition to the growth of on-campus housing downtown, we are seeing new private market student housing announced and constructed near campus. The first such project opened in 2013, another opened this fall and there is now talk of two more projects being planned next to campus. All of this investment in housing for Georgia State students is another indication of our major influence in the revitalization and growth of downtown Atlanta, as well as confidence in the university’s trajectory.
It is incredibly gratifying to see the energy tens of thousands of students are bringing to our Georgia State campuses across the metro area. They have an exciting, stimulating and challenging academic year ahead of them, and so do our faculty and staff.
With the inclusion of Perimeter College for the first time this fall, we are a new university, with the enduring goal of establishing a new model for a university where students from all backgrounds achieve success. We have already begun to implement our successful student-support programs on the Perimeter campuses, including the awarding of Panther Retention Grants and the use of predictive analytics to identify students who are at risk. We want to provide the educational opportunity, the support and guidance that will get our students to graduation day, and now we have the imperative to do it for more students than ever before.
Mark P. Becker