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University System of Georgia enrollment declines for second straight year

The University System of Georgia noticed a pattern that shows many students may not be taking the college route at all.

MACON, Ga. — Many high schoolers spend senior year choosing the place to call home for their next four years of education.

However, this year The University System of Georgia (USG) noticed a pattern that shows many students may not be taking the college route at all.

Howard High School senior, Malachi Woolfolk, has a goal with not only college written all over it, but also science.

"I don't think knowing just the surface knowledge of biology would be enough for me. I want a really in depth and good knowledge of what it is," he said.

He's looking to head to the state known for its music scene and great smokey mountains.

"There's this school in Nashville, Vanderbilt University, and they have so many different people, so many different view points and so many opportunities to learn," Woolfolk said.

As for why Georgia isn't the top of his mind.

"A lot of the universities in Georgia, I feel like they don't have the type of community where they strive to have as many diverse viewpoints," Woolfolk said.

He's not the only person with their eyes set on schools or opportunities outside The University System of Georgia. 

For the second straight year USG noticed an enrollment declined. 

They say enrollment grew by 1.2% at research universities like Georgia Tech and The University of Georgia, but declined in the three other institutional sectors. 

That's according to their fall 2022 semester enrollment report

The largest percent decrease is in state universities which were down 5.7%. 

USG says the reason for the decrease range from students choosing to enter the workforce over higher education to financial uncertainty and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

Stephen Schulteis is the Vice President for Enrollment Management at Middle Georgia State University. He says they are working to bridge the gap through community partnerships, focus on student success, graduate programs, and their majors.

"We're being real specific about our majors. Where we need to add majors and promote our majors," Schulteis said.

Woolfolk's eyes are already set on one specific prize if the stars align.

"If I do get accepted and the money situation is right it's definitely the place I want to spend my next four years at," he said.

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