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Like a good neighbor VSU is here

by LaMarcus Wilkerson

In an attempt to counteract decreasing student enrollment, VSU is now offering in-state tuition to three border states.

On March 30, the Board of Regents agreed to allow VSU to offer in-state tuition fees for Florida, Alabama and South Carolina residents. This policy will go into effect at the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year.

“(The goal is to) increase our efforts on retaining students,” said Andy Clark, VSU vice president of enrollment, marketing and communication.

Since the number of students who attend VSU has declined, VSU has sought innovative ways to combat its decrease in population. Enrollment dropped by about 1400 students from Fall 2013 to Fall 2014, Clark said.

Currently, VSU has 11,541 students; 9,303 are undergrad and 2,238 are graduate students, according to VSU’s website.

“Most of the market share for which we lost is in the Atlanta area,” Clark said. “If you look at the schools in Atlanta and how they have changed over the last five to 10 years, you’d see the competition in that market is totally changed.”

For example, Georgia Gwinnett College was non-existent ten years ago; now they have 11,200 students.

“What you’re seeing is a trend for students and parents to make a decision to stay home and commute to a university,” Clarke said. “So what we really try to sell in our pitch is the advantages of the total college experience.”

This new tuition policy gives VSU the opportunity to recruit from populated cities in surrounding states. Also, limited out-of-state tuition waivers remain for American residents and international students.

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