Georgia State University’s 53,000 students enrolled this year feature many internal records for diversity, from the fact that more than a third of students are black to the unprecedented numbers of Asians and Hispanics entering as freshmen.
But the university also improved on one already staggering statistic: As of Friday, the school will feature students from 178 countries and territories, at least one more than the previous record of 177.
That figure is just only 15 fewer than the United Nations membership, meaning that virtually the whole world is present at the university that is rooted downtown but now spans the metro area.
Georgia State gained quite a bit of global diversity when its absorbed Georgia Perimeter College in 2016. The latest figures show that while making up less than a third of GSU’s student body, Perimeter contributes 2,415 non-U.S. students, about 39 percent of the 6,175 total.
The makeup is a bit different as well. GSU overall sees traditional sending countries like India, China and South Korea topping its rankings, but sizable populations of Vietnamese, Mexican, Jamaican, Bangladeshi and Ethiopian populations at Perimeter skew these less commonly seen countries higher in the overall total.
Among all campuses, GSU has 8,000 freshmen entering the university for the first time, just after awarding 10,000 degrees in the 2018-19 school year. This year also brings the largest honors class ever — 290 first year students and 360 set to join later in the fall.
“Together, these 8,000 freshmen will enter Georgia State with the best opportunity in school history to be successful,” said Timothy M. Renick, senior vice president for student success at Georgia State. “They will join a university at which students are graduating at record rates, in record time, and enjoying unprecedented success in careers after graduation.”
Importantly for a public institution, GSU also has broad representation across the state, with at least one student enrolled from 150 of Georgia’s 159 counties, according to Global Atlanta’s analysis of the data.
Current figures show a slight decline in international students at GSU from 6,307 last year to 6,175, though that could change, as Mr. Renick noted that more than 1,000 students enrolled this week alone and more than a thousand more should be coming in next week. International students can be the last to register because of visa issues.
Learn more in the news release here.