Preliminary enrollment projections for the fall 2020 semester at Georgia Southern University indicate a record-setting freshman class may be enrolled this year.

While final figures will not be released until October, officials say a larger freshman class has registered for classes this year and is pushing fall 2020 projections past last year’s final enrollment figure of 26,054.

“While we cannot release any official figures until they are verified by the University System of Georgia later this fall, I believe we will set a record in terms of first-year student enrollment,” said Scot Lingrell, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment management.

Georgia Southern’s new freshman class in fall 2018 was 3,900 students; in fall 2019, it was 3,675. Lingrell predicted the fall 2020 freshman class will be approximately 35 percent larger than last year. Because of the size of the freshman class, Lingrell predicts the final fall enrollment figure for the Fall 2020 class will end up slightly higher than the fall 2019 class.

Lingrell hopes the fall enrollment will build upon summer 2020’s official enrollment of 13,695, a 1.1 percent increase when compared to the 2019 summer semester figure of 13,541, according to official census figures from the University System of Georgia. The number of credit hours taken this summer was 92,993, an increase of 4.4 percent over summer 2019.

If a record can be achieved for the number of students entering Georgia Southern this fall, it will complement a record number recently recorded for students finishing the university.

The latest 4-year graduation rate of 31 percent for the fall 2015 cohort, and 5-year graduation rate of 49 percent for the fall 2014 cohort are the highest recorded in the last six years.

“I am very excited that we are seeing numbers that capture the momentum we have created,” said Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero. “Even in the face of a pandemic, we are succeeding at many levels because we are putting our students first, and ensuring we are ready for what’s next. I am very proud of how our faculty and staff are continually keeping our strategic priorities at the forefront of their plans and actions.”