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Albany State plans to grow enrollment

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

August 18, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's back to the books for Albany State University students. The 2008 Fall semester kicked off Monday but early registration numbers show a slight decline in enrollment. University leaders say they'll have to work hard to meet an ambitious goal of doubling enrollment by 2011.

After a nice summer break, the band is back at practice on campus.  That's a sure sign that it's back to the beat and back to the books for Albany State University students.

"Right now it's going pretty good. My classes are all together," said ASU Senior Crystal Redcross. It's Redcross's last semester at ASU and she's looking forward to one thing.

"Graduating in December," said Redcross.

Thousands of students have that same ultimate goal at Albany State. Early registration numbers show that 4,236 students are enrolled. "Enrollment, we want it to grow. We're not looking quite as well as we did last year," said ASU Administrative Chief of Staff Dr. Joshua Murfree.

Enrollment is down by about 600 students compared to last Fall. "We want that enrollment to come up," said Murfree.

So school leaders are working to get more students on campus. "We've had the department deans and chairs and staff to get on the phone and call students who actually talked about coming or who applied here. We've had them call to say are you coming to Albany State University," said Murfree.

That question is especially important right now with ambitious goals for enrollment.  School leaders aim to have 10,000 students by 2011. "That means more dormitory space, more buildings, more classroom space to have that number," said Murfree.

Murfree says it'll take effort from everyone including the school and the community. It's also about being competitive with other universities and colleges in Georgia which means ASU has to stand out. "You're looking at Albany State University which makes this town a college town," said Murfree.

That's what got one future graduate's attention. "It wasn't that far from home and I heard that it was a prestigious HBCU," said Redcross.

Hopefully the intense and steady beat of college life will lure more students to step their way onto ASU's campus.

School leaders say the number of potential students from South Georgia alone could help them reach their enrollment goals.  Those chances grow even more with potential students in other parts of Georgia, Alabama and Florida.    

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