The University System of Georgia awarded a record-high 70,879 degrees during the last fiscal year, despite the challenges imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
That marked a 4.5% increase over fiscal 2019 and the largest year-over-year increase since 2011, when the university system joined the Complete College America program with its emphasis on earning a degree.
“This success is thanks to the hard work of USG’s 26 public colleges and universities, which have taken critical steps to increase support and help students stay on track toward their degree,” system Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “I am especially grateful to our students, faculty and staff for all they do to ensure more Georgians enter the workforce with a college credential.”
The number of degrees the university system has awarded each year since 2011 has risen by more than 29%, far outstripping enrollment growth of less than 5%.
Over the last five years, the number of students completing their degrees within six years has increased by 9% to 61%, moving Georgia up 10 places to 20th in the state-by-state rankings.
The record for degrees awarded came despite a systemwide conversion from in-person classes to online instruction for much of the spring semester, as COVID-19 began to spread across Georgia. While the virus still holds the state in its grip, students are returning to the 26 campuses this month to resume in-person learning.