Mobilized and Motivated: Record-breaking GCSU Class of 2027 gears up

Produced by University Communications

T hey’ve moved in. They’ve done acts of community service around Milledgeville for GCSU Gives Day. Now, the Class of 2027 is ready to enter classrooms and make their mark on the Georgia College & State University campus.

They are Georgia College’s biggest-sized class ever—a record-breaking group of about 1,800 first-year students. They join the university after a season of unprecedented demand. Georgia College received nearly 8,000 applications—about 2,000 more than the previous record.

In addition, the number of high-achieving students is up over 200% compared to last year, and this will be one of the most diverse incoming classes in the university’s history.

“We are welcoming a historically high number of first-year students to Georgia College, while maintaining high academic standards and small-class sizes—the things that distinguish our institution,” said Dr. Costas Spirou, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

We are welcoming a historically high number of first-year students to Georgia College, while maintaining high academic standards and small-class sizes—the things that distinguish our institution.
– Dr. Costas Spirou
“We have been intentional about increasing the number of classes we offer and have recruited highly qualified faculty,” Spirou said. “We want to ensure that all of our students receive personalized attention.”


Throughout the summer, orientations went smoothly with high anticipation and attendance. Georgia College President Cathy Cox joined every orientation—greeting many excited, smiling new faces, shaking hands and posing for selfies with students.

“Under Cathy Cox’s innovative leadership, Georgia College & State University is experiencing great momentum,” Spirou said. “We are excited that a larger number of students will benefit from our mission as the state’s designated public liberal arts university.”

Some interesting facts about this class:
•    A record number of honors students, 149.
•    Average GPA is 3.62 and 144 students bring a perfect 4.0.
•    Two international students are coming from Vietnam and India.
•    Out-of-state students originate from Alabama, Florida, Illinois and Wisconsin.
•    In-state students hail from 112 different counties across Georgia.
•    The biggest numbers this year are from Gwinnett/Forsyth County (194), Cobb County (163), Fulton County (147) and Cherokee County (102).
•    Top majors for this class are nursing, business undeclared, biology, marketing and psychology.

Cat Crew volunteers help new students move in.
Cat Crew volunteers help new students move in.
Javier Francisco, executive director of Admissions, noted the geographic diversity of this class with some students coming from areas like South Georgia. This increase—as well as the jump in applications, class size and diversity—is likely due to several factors, he said.

Georgia College is a small university that offers big opportunities, like working side-by-side with professors doing original research as early as freshman year.

Francisco also pointed to recent national recognition.

One was an A+ grade given by the National Council on Teacher Quality for teaching the science of reading. The other: the prestigious 2023 American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Excellence & Innovation Award for Student Success and College Completion. It was given for the university’s GC Journeys—a program that ensures all students participate in high-impact practices like undergraduate research, internships, career readiness, community service, study abroad and leadership.

These high-impact practices are touted at sessions with high schoolers in and outside of Georgia starting in their sophomore year. This intensive, regionwide push helped spread the word about the value and appeal of a liberal arts education.

Our goal is always to bring the most-qualified, the most-diverse and the most-prepared students to Georgia College, and this year we have all of those—the most-prepared, most-diverse and most-qualified class we've recruited, since I joined the GCSU Admissions staff almost two decades ago.
– Javier Francisco

When asked why they chose Georgia College, students continue to mention the university’s iconic campus, small class sizes, individualized attention and faculty mentorship.

These are all hallmark examples of what makes Georgia College unique among state universities, said Joel Robinson, senior associate vice president for Enrollment Management.

These qualities of a Georgia College education will continue to endure.

This is the greatest demand ever for Georgia College from students all across the state.
– Joel Robinson
Despite rising numbers, Robinson said the university continues to be selective when admitting students. Applications were up 37% this year, coinciding with the increase in high-achieving applicants.

“Highly reliable, serious learners are most likely to get involved in life-changing opportunities, join extracurricular activities and bring fresh ideas to campus,” Robinson said. “This is the greatest demand ever for Georgia College from students all across the state.”

“It’s not hard to see why students want to come here,” he added. “Receiving an education that one would expect at an elite, private institution but at a public university price is a very compelling value proposition for our students and their families.”