Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU) is a four-year public university located in Savannah, Georgia. The university offers more than 100 degree programs in four colleges: education, health professions, liberal arts, and science and technology. The university was founded in 1935 and enrolls roughly 7,000 undergraduate students, as well as around 800 graduate students. It is part of the University System of Georgia and has more than 23,000 alumni.
The university was founded in 1935 with 175 students as Armstrong Junior College, and in 1959 it became a two-year unit of the University System of Georgia. In 1964, the Board of Regents conferred four-year status on the school. The campus is located 25 miles from Tybee Island Beach and 15 minutes south of the downtown Savannah Historic District, home to Revolutionary and Civil War-era homes, and Spanish moss-draped oaks. The 268-acre campus is adjacent to a busy area of shopping malls, movie theaters, and restaurants.
The university’s College of Education offers degrees in Childhood and Exceptional Student Education, and received continued accreditation through 2017 under performance-oriented standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in 2010. The College of Health Professionals is the largest of the university’s divisions, and offers programs focused on careers in nursing, public health, health administration, and the allied health professions. Degrees in the health college range from associate to doctoral.
The College of Liberal Arts includes programs in government, criminal justice, law, business, entertainment, and more. In the College of Science and Technology, students may study biology, chemistry and physics, computer science and information technology, engineering, mathematics, and psychology.
AASU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Some departments and programs also have accreditation through discipline-specific national and state agencies and governing bodies.
A number of projects are underway on the university campus, including renovations to the library and created of new bicycle/pedestrian paths. Also, a recent renovation created new engineering labs, fine arts labs, and a new University Mail Services Center.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Applying students must have graduated from a regionally accredited or state approved high school. GED scores are not accepted. Students must have scored a minimum of 430 on each section of the SAT, and 18 on the sections of the ACT. Sixteen units of college preparatory courses should also have been taken, with a C- or above earned in each class.
All enrolling students seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. More than 80 percent of students receive financial aid in a variety of forms including scholarships, grants, loans and work/ study programs. Departmental and faculty grants also afford opportunities for student scholarships, research, and part-time employment. In 2009, expenditures related to these grants totaled $3,220,977.
Student Financial Aid Details
Armstrong Atlantic State University is primarily a commuter campus, but 1,400 students live in a variety of on-campus residences. Suite-style living is featured in Windward Commons (home to 600 students), with laundry facilities, courtyards, barbecue areas, classrooms, and music practice rooms. Other on-campus housing opportunities include Compass Point, University Terrace, and University Crossings. Campus living features live-in housing staff, one RA for every 50 residents, and 24/7 staff coverage, as well as routine university police patrols.
Students can participate in more than 60 student organizations and clubs, as well as a growing Greek life system with nine fraternities and sororities. Activities include the Student Government Association, Graduate Student Coordinating Council, Campus Union Board, The Inkwell (the university’s student-run publication), The Calliope (the university’s student literature and art magazine), and a number of recreational intramural and club sports, including dance, flag football, rugby, ultimate Frisbee, bowling, basketball, and billiards.
The university also recently completed a 61,000-square-foot, $24 million student union with a 300-seat food court, 200-seat movie theatre, ballroom, bookstore, Starbucks, convenience store, and porches and lounge areas.
The college features a First Year Experience program, which is more than a decade old. First-year students are invited to participate in a reading program, various communities on campus and the local community, and a first-year seminar course. In 2008, the college hired faculty specifically to concentrate their efforts on improving and expanding the program, and a task force composed of administrators, faculty and staff studied and made changes to the program, which is being unveiled in 2011.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Athletic teams are known as the Pirates, and compete in NCAA Division II as a member of the Peach Belt Conference. The university fields 11 teams. Men’s teams include: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, and tennis. Women’s teams are: basketball, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.
The university actually joined NCAA Division I athletics in 1983, but returned to Division II in 1987 to become a charter member of the Peach Belt. Since then, the Pirates have won 33 PBC champions and have appeared in 82 NCAA Championships, winning eight titles. The men’s and women’s tennis teams have captured five NCAA Division II national championships over the last three seasons.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.