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CCGA beats odds with enrollment
College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick started its spring semester Monday with a few more students than it had at this time last year.

John Cornell, marketing and public relations director for the college, says preliminary enrollment is just under 3,000.

"We're slightly up (for this time of year), slightly down from fall, but that happens every year. You're always going to lose some students to graduation and other things," Cornell said.

A more impressive figure is the number of new students who have made their way to the coast - 400 this semester.

Of the total number of students enrolled, about 5 percent are incoming freshmen, Cornell said, which is a positive sign the college hopes will continue.

"I think that everything is finally in place, and we're able to recruit students from the outside area," Cornell said. "Roughly 85 percent are from within our 12-county region, but we're definitely growing outside of that. We hope the numbers will continue to trend upward."

The college's slightly higher enrollment is a bit unique in the state, where most colleges are reporting declining numbers.

Cornell says part of the hope for future enrollment increases at College of Coastal Georgia is dual-enrollment students, who are in high school and take at least one on-campus college class. Administrators hope these students will decide to attend full-time after they graduate from high school.

That's not all the college is doing to draw students.

"A priority is student success, and we're continuing to look at the campus, what we do and how we do it to try to remove as many impediments to a student enjoying their time here and excelling," Cornell said.

He pointed to increases in library and gym hours, online tutoring and a map that identifies places on campus that have been designated for studying.

President Greg Aloia is also seeking more veteran-friendly opportunities, Cornell said, such as finding the most cost-effective ways to help veterans pursue degrees.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

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