TIFTON, GA (WALB) - Enrollment at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College continues to grow.
The increase isn't coming from students who are choosing to go to college close to home.
This is the third time in the last four years the number of students at ABAC has increased.
What makes this year different is that the jump is due mostly to the rise in out of state students.
Recently released figures show that fall enrollment at ABAC is up 2.4 percent over last year. 3,475 students are enrolled.
Almost 100 more than 2015.
"We are a college destination for students that are interested in agriculture and natural resource management. That's a huge draw for us," said Donna Webb, Director of Enrollment Management.
School representatives credit the jump in numbers to a push in out of state students.
They have seen a huge increase in the number of students from neighboring states like Florida, Alabama and South Carolina.
"When they come and visit the campus, it's a rural setting, beautiful campus, state of the art housing, new life sciences building. There's a lot of things that would draw them here," said Webb.
"It is my home. I know it's 5 hours away but just like the people you meet, everybody you meet, honestly these are the nicest people here," said Freshman student, Loren Lindler.
Lindler is from Gilbert, South Carolina.
The University System of Georgia now allows ABAC and some other colleges to offer an out of state tuition fee wavier.
The "neighbor waiver" has helped send students, like Loren, to a college that offers their dream major.
"I'm an Ag Communications major. Clemson did not offer that so I came here," said Lindler.
"ABAC has always been an appealing choice but now it can be an affordable choice," said Webb.
ABAC wants to create lasting relationships with their future and current students from in and out of the state. They are hopeful the enrollment numbers only continue to grow.
"If they can come visit the campus, get connected with other students, with a faculty member, with a dean, then they are going to chose to attend ABAC," said Webb.