This year, UWG announced that all legal residents of Alabama are now eligible for in-state undergraduate tuition, opening the door to a new demographic of prospective students.
“Since UWG is so close to the border of Alabama, we were able to get permission from the University System of Georgia to offer in state tuition for Alabama,” said Emily Wurst, Alabama Admissions Representative. “It’s definitely not just me. It’s Justin Barlow, our Director of Admissions, being able to work with the University System of Georgia and get that permission that allows us to extend opportunities to Alabama students.”
This new offer was made available to Alabama residents in the Spring semester of 2018.
“We’re pretty competitive with the price of Alabama four-year universities,” said Wurst. “So, we are able to offer students to come to us for the same cost or less to go to school in their own state.”
Though this offer is still young, promising results are already beginning to be seen.
“As of about the middle of September, our inquiry numbers and enrollment numbers, basically students that have shown interest from Alabama in some way, shape or from, are up about 60 percent from last year,” said Wurst. “So, we’re seeing a little of an inflection already.”
Marketing for Alabama students is in full swing, with many prospective students reporting that they’ve heard of UWG from advertisements on various platforms, including television and social media. However, the Office of Admissions is making an effort to take a step further and add a personal touch.
“There are organizations that put together big college fairs for each county in Alabama, so we’re essentially going and trying to attend as many of these college fairs as we can to give West Georgia a physical presence in Alabama,” said Wurst. “We want to have somebody Alabama students can talk to and answer their questions. We will also be on the road, having a couple of UWG-hosted events in Alabama this fall. We’ll be bringing representatives from Admissions, as well as being sure that we have all the information and representation we need from Financial Aid and Housing and Residence Life, and other departments that students have questions about.”
With UWG now open to this new pool of prospective students, the Office of Admissions has a new opportunity to make UWG stand out against Alabama schools with a home-field advantage.
“Students are looking for what’s new, for what’s their own, for what their parents didn’t do, for what their friends five years ago didn’t do,” said Wurst. “So, UWG opens the door to the possibility of Alabama students going out of state when they didn’t think that was possible before.”