AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - More students are making Georgia Southwestern State University their school of choice.
Fall enrollment surpassed 3000 for the first time since 2011.
It's not just scholarships and degree programs inspiring students, but what happens outside the classroom that makes their college experience meaningful.
For 20-year-old Carson Fields it was Georgia Southwestern State University's sports.
"I came down to Southwestern to talk to Coach Sewell, I really got to emailing him and got to talking and I did receive a tennis scholarship to come play here," said Fields.
But the Business School was the deciding factor.
"The class sizes were pretty small so you really get to know your professors a lot that was a big thing," said Fields.
Administrators said award-winning academic programs, an active campus and nurturing faculty members are behind the growth.
"I think that we will continue to grow as a university. I think students are really discovering Southwestern for the first time and seeing the things we have to offer here and we look forward to welcoming them to our campus," said GSW Enrollment Management VP Dr. Gaye Hayes.
Fields put down his rackets and now, as a junior, is focused on his Accounting Degree and one more thing.
"The biggest thing is just getting involved on campus, you know it's a lot of fun. College is kind of what you make it," said Fields.
He's also President of Chi Phi Fraternity and a residence assistant.
Fields is building relationships, helping new students learn the campus and enjoying all GSW has to offer.
School officials said enrollment increased 5.9 percent over last fall to 3,039 students this year.