STATESBORO, Ga., (WSAV)- A decline in student enrollment is forcing Georgia Southern University’s administrators to make changes for the upcoming school year, such as reducing and redirecting funds.
John Lester, a spokesman, with Georgia Southern said since around 2012 enrollment at the university has been on a small but steady decline. He said enrollment plays a major factor in the amount of money the university receives from the state.
Lester said from the fall of 2017 to the fall of 2018 a thousand fewer students attended the university, meaning the loss of at least a million dollars in funding the school received from the state.
“So everytime there is an increase or decrease in enrollement it affects our budget. So because of our enrollment drop over the last couple of years we’ve been doing a budget redirection exercise over the last few months,” Lester said.
Lester said during this redirection exercise officials are making sure that money isn’t being taken away from areas that will impact students, but he does add the university plans to try to boost enrollment.
“It’s pretty much our entire focus for recruiting and for marketing the university. We’ve also tried to make sure that all of our faculty and staff understand the role that they play in both retaining students and attracting incoming students. So we spend a lot of time on social media for example,” Lester explained.
News 3 spoke to some students about the drop in numbers, some say they’re shocked others, like Bobbie Welch, a junior as the Armstrong campus, aren’t surprised.
“There have been a lot of fewer students here. Like at the gym there’s not as many people swiping in to come in, and a lot of our classes have gotten smaller,” Welch said.
Another way the university is pushing to increase enrollment is through their Start Now program. The program allows students to begin classes throughout the year, instead of just at the beginning of a semester.