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College enrollment numbers: GHC, GNTC up, Berry hovers at same level

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Georgia Highlands College saw the largest increase in enrollment among local colleges over the last decade, but Georgia Northwestern Technical College also saw a significant bump during this period.

For four-year schools, Berry College had a slight bump in the total enrollment for undergraduate and graduate students from fall 2007 to fall 2017.

Shorter University did not respond to several requests for enrollment numbers.


The total enrollment across GHC’s five campuses was at 6,013 this fall. This is an increase of 1,667 students or 38.36 percent from an enrollment of 4,346 in fall 2007.

The college opened up two new locations during the last decade, with a campus in Dallas opening in 2009 and the Douglasville instructional site opening in 2010.

GHC had 5,533 students in fall 2012 and by this fall had 486 more enrolled. Over a five-year period, from fall 2007 to fall 2012, 1,187 students were added.

In an email, GHC spokesman Nicholas Godfrey said “total enrollment represents how many students GHC has, regardless of what location they take classes at.” If a student takes classes at two different locations, they are included in each location’s student count, altering the exact number of students at each campus.

Nontraditional student enrollment — those over the age of 24 — was at 737 in fall 2007 and by this fall was up to 801. However, this fall’s nontraditional student enrollment reflected a decrease of 318 students from fall 2012, when it was at 1,119, or about 20 percent of all GHC students. There was an over 50 percent increase in nontraditional student enrollment from fall 2007 to fall 2012.

There were zero GHC students taking all their classes online in fall 2007. By this fall, there were 733. In fall 2012, 172 students took only online classes, and within five years, there were 561 more students.


GNTC was created in 2009 when Coosa Valley Technical College merged with Northwestern Technical College. Northwest became GNTC’s Walker County campus. Coosa Valley Technical had three campuses in Floyd, Polk and Gordon Counties.

Thus, all data prior to 2009 are split between these two schools.

In fall 2007, Northwest had 2,279 students enrolled, while the three campuses of Coosa Valley had 2,628 combined — the Floyd campus has 1,753 students. The cumulative enrollment for this semester was 4,907.

By fall 2016 — this fall’s figures weren’t available — the enrollment across all GNTC campuses was at 6,018, an increase of 1,111 from fall 2007. This figure includes enrollment at the Catoosa County campus, which opened in August 2016, and the Whitfield-Murray County campus, which opened in August 2011.

GNTC actually hit an enrollment of 6,045 in fall 2012, with just five open campuses. This was an increase of 1,138 students from the pre-merger, fall 2007 enrollment.

The Floyd and Walker campuses have consistently had the highest enrollment, with the Walker campus topping Floyd’s numbers in fall 2007, 2012 and 2016. In these years, the Walker campus had at least 107 more students than the Floyd campus, with fall 2007 having the biggest enrollment margin at 526.

In fall 2012, the Floyd campus had 2,170 students enrolled while the Walker campus had 2,277 — a margin of 107. Enrollment at both campuses had dropped by fall 2016, with Floyd at 1,687 and Walker at 1,858 — a margin of 171.

These two campuses have also carried the bulk of students taking classes online only.

There were 451 more online-only students in fall 2016 — 1,056 — as compared to fall 2007 — 605. In fall 2012, 883 students only took online classes.

Of the 1,056 online-only students in fall 2016, the Floyd and Walker campuses combined accounted for 619 of them or about 59 percent. In fall 2012, the campuses combined to have 73 percent of online-only students, and they had 87 percent of them in fall 2008.

Enrollment for nontraditional students in fall 2016 was at 1,865, which is about 31 percent of total enrollment. This was a decrease of 1,024 from the 2,889 students in fall 2012, when these students accounted for about 48 percent of all students.

There is no data available on nontraditional students prior to the 2009 merger.

Berry College

Berry College’s total enrollment — both undergraduate and graduate students — has hovered above 2,000 in fall counts for 2007, 2012 and 2017.

It hit a high mark out of these three years in fall 2012 with 2,143 students, after increasing by 109 from fall 2007. There were 61 less students this fall than fall 2012.

Traditional undergraduate students, those 24 years old or younger, make up nearly all of enrollment — 91 percent in 2007, 94 percent in 2012 and 93 percent in 2017.

The number of nontraditional students pursuing an undergraduate degree went down from 32 in 2007 to 11 in 2012 — there’s no change between 2012 and 2017.

There were at least 125 graduate students out of these three years, making up between about 6 percent and 8 percent of overall enrollment. There were 155 graduate students in fall 2007, 125 in fall 2012, and 132 in fall 2017.