ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia Alumni Association expects a crowd of 100 or more at its Atlanta Area Freshmen Send-Off today - and those students starting the next leg of their education likely will find familiar faces when they arrive in Athens.
More than half the Georgia students at UGA (not counting out-of-state or international students) came from metro Atlanta last fall. And as the city and its suburbs continue to grow, so does the number of new UGA students from Atlanta.
Eight metro counties accounted for just more than 50 percent of the Georgia students enrolled in fall semester 2008.
Students from Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Fayette, Forsyth, Cherokee and Henry counties accounted for 13,520 of the 26,967 UGA students who hail from Georgia. About 7,000 were from other states and foreign countries.
Ten years ago, in 1998, those same eight counties accounted for 47.7 percent of the in-state students at UGA.
Gwinnett led all counties with 3,655 students - nearly 11 percent of UGA's entire student body. Fulton, with 3,290 students, and Cobb, with 2,818, were not far behind.
The only non-metro Atlanta county that ranks among the top 10 counties on UGA's enrollment list is Clarke, which enrolled 1,580 students at UGA in 2008 - down from 1,717 a decade earlier, according to the UGA fact book.
Nancy McDuff, UGA associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management, said she had not compared metro Atlanta enrollment figures to other parts of the state in several years.
But she wouldn't be surprised to see Atlanta account for a larger percentage of UGA students today, she said. Atlanta has for years grown faster than the rest of the state.
"Of course, as the percentage of the Georgia population residing in metro Atlanta grows, you would expect that (their percentage of the UGA enrollment would increase)," McDuff wrote in an e-mail.
FROM ATL TO UGA
Eight metro Atlanta counties account for a growing proportion of University of Georgia students, according to UGA statistics. In fall of 2008, students from just eight metro Atlanta counties made up more than half the Georgia students (not counting out-of-state or foreign students) at UGA.
Source: UGA Fact Book