ATHENS, Ga. -- Emmeline Kuhn will be a senior at Carolina Day School in Asheville, N.C., in a few weeks, but this week she was concentrating on college.
Ms. Kuhn is one of 400 or so out-of-state students who could be part of the freshman class of 1999 at the University of Georgia. She and 65 other students and their parents attended the university's first recruiting seminar aimed specifically at out-of-state students this week.
Out-of-state students who consider Southern schools with prestigious reputations, like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia, are also putting the University of Georgia on their list of prospective colleges.
Ms. Kuhn wants to follow in her father's footsteps. He graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1977.
"I want to be a veterinarian, and they have a great school here. I also like this city. I think it's beautiful," Ms. Kuhn said, counting her reasons for considering the University of Georgia.
About 11 percent of the 1997 freshmen class came from outside Georgia. That number is down from 18 percent in the years just before the HOPE scholarship -- a state lottery-funded program that covers tuition for students who maintain a B average -- went into effect about five years ago.
"We want a diverse student body. You want more than just the same people you were in high school with in college with you," said John Albright, associate director of admissions.
Georgia President Michael Adams wants to keep the percentage of students from outside Georgia under 20 percent, according to Tom Jackson, executive director of University Communications.
"UGA is for Georgia first," Mr. Jackson said, "but a great public university can't be too insular an environment."
Many out-of-state alumni send their children to the university. That is good for Georgia, Mr. Jackson said, because studies show that a high percentage of students who attend state universities stay in that state after graduation.
Mr. Albright said that the more selective the university becomes, the more people want to get in.
"We can never have enough good students," he said.
Recruiters are now focused on the class of 1999 because the class of 1998, due to arrive on campus in a few weeks, is full.
The estimated size of the entering class is between 4,200 and 4,300 students, Mr. Albright said, adding that he is expecting out-of-state enrollment to be around the same level as last year -- 11 percent. That means that between 460 and 470 of students entering the university later this month will be from outside the state.