ATLANTA -- Roughly six students accepted to the Medical College of Georgia prefer the main Augusta campus for every one that wants to attend the branch campus in Athens, the medical school's dean reported today.
During a morning briefing for a committee of the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents, Dean Douglas Miller expressed pleasure that the ratio matched the capacity at each campus.
"If they had been one-to-one, we would have been making a lot of people unhappy about their preference," he said. "It actually lined up very nicely."
So far, 32 students accepted for the classes that begin this fall are assigned to Athens while another eight will be sent there to round out the 40 students targeted. The Augusta campus will host 190 students in the same class.
The final sorting out comes after May 15 when students accepted by multiple medical schools have to decide which they'll attend. As some inevitably pick schools other than MCG, their departures will open seats for the 20-30 applicants who have been accepted to MCG on a waiting list. Some of those on the waiting list may prefer the Athens campus, but if there aren't enough to fill all the slots there, the administration will make assignments.
When the Athens campus was first proposed as a partnership with the University of Georgia, some observers predicted that most students would chose Athens because it is more oriented toward college students, in terms of restaurants and entertainment. However, MCG officials warned the opposite might be true since medical students are generally more focused on their education than amusement, and Augusta has a more established medical community.
Miller said both campuses have different strengths.
"The students who want the small-group learning, a little bit more independent study, large-campus environment are selecting Athens, and they're getting it," he said. "... Students who want a larger class and more anonymity are making a preference for Augusta."