UGA to see 6,300 new students this fall

Sweating parents with hand carts swarmed parking lots and streets around University of Georgia residence halls and jammed the corridors inside the high-rise dorms this week as thousands of students began moving in.


UGA Housing allowed students to start moving into residence halls Tuesday as students return to Athens for fall semester, which starts Monday.

Carrying everything from spaghetti sauce to flat-screen TVs, families lined up with arms full outside dorms like Brumby Hall - fighting temperatures that edged toward the 100 degree mark Tuesday or showers Wednesday morning.

More than 200 UGA faculty, staff and student volunteers were stationed around dormitories off Baxter Street to help get the new students moved in and to keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible.

Three-quarters of the students finished moving in by noon Wednesday if past experience held true, said UGA Housing Director Gerry Kowalski.

About 6,850 students live in UGA residence halls, roughly 20 percent of the university's 34,000 students. Even more will be staying on campus next year, when a new 550-bed residence hall will open on East Campus.

The university scheduled a series of "Welcome Week" events for returning students, including a free Sunday night performance by The Dan Band at Legion Field and a concert next Thursday night in the new Grand Hall at Tate Student Center by country singer Kellie Pickler.

The concerts and other Welcome Week activities remained part of a still-distant future to many students Tuesday and Wednesday as they focused on getting their possessions stowed in their dorm rooms.

Lori Bannon waited patiently in 90-degree heat Tuesday, nudging along a grocery cart full of possessions while her daughter, 18-year-old freshman Lindsay Bannon, was up in her air-conditioned room, trying to figure out where to put everything.

But the heat was nothing special for the Bannons, Lori Bannon said - they flew in a couple of days ago from Dallas, Texas, where the temperature routinely soars above 100 degrees.

Colleen Shanahan of Atlanta brought lots of bottled water and pillows. She arranged the pillows on her bed as her parents and her sister helped her move in - though she thought she might have brought too many pillows.

Some parents returned to their cars with loads of clothing and other belongings - stuff that just wouldn't fit into the rooms.

"Even if you plan and know exactly where you will put everything - you don't," Colleen Shanahan said.

Chris Coan of Marietta figured everything his daughter, Sara, brought would fit, however.

"We did some scouting during orientation," Coan said.

The University of Georgia is expecting more than 6,300 new undergraduate students this fall.

That number includes more than 4,700 freshmen, who moved on to campus this week. It also includes 1,600 transfer students.

New student enrollment is up about 75 compared to last fall.

The entering freshman class has a grade point average of 3.83, compared to 3.80 last year. The average SAT exam score rose from 1253 to 1263 on reading and math, with scores on the writing test going up from 609 to 613.

Classes start Monday.

Associated Press reports were used in this story.


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