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UOG students head back to class

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Class is officially back in session for the University of Guam Tritons. Parking spaces were filled and ping-pong games were abound at the UOG Student Center today as thousands of students made their way to the first day of classes.

Students Noni Cruz told KUAM News, "I'm very excited to take on this semester, get it done, be part of the passing statistic, hopefully." And fellow student Karl San Nicolas shared, "Really, the biggest challenge this semester is just work on top of the meetings I have going on outside, but really it's amazing because it's my passion and I have this mindset where I'm going to go hard with everything I have going on this semester because I'm just really motivated."

"The most rewarding part about going to school is seeing your report card at the end of the semester and seeing all A's," San Nicolas added.

UOG president Dr. Robert Underwood spoke with dozens of students like Cruz and San Nicolas this morning, and says he has high hopes for the coming year. "We expect to break an enrollment record, and we expect to raise a little tuition, and we're hopeful that the Guam Legislature will give us a little bit more money, but at the end of the day it's really about students and their experience," he stated. He says UOG expects to register roughly 4,000 students this semester - its highest enrollment to date. Another big change from last year is that tuition rates did increase roughly 5%.

Dr. Underwood added, "I know with a lot of college students funds is the biggest issue, we got work on top of everything else, my best advice I can give as an entrepreneur is really invest learn how to invest, put into something where you can get back. It will really help, aside from FAFSA and other available programs."

Some other changes include an increase of freshmen enrolling straight out of high school, as the president speculated, "We're probably going to have 150 more freshmen who just graduated from high school than we did have last fall semester. And that reflects our conversations with them and it reflects the overall emphasis on post secondary education on the island."

There has also been a diversification of UOG faculty, with Underwood noting, "We have a lot more local people on our faculty than we've ever had in our history, and we also have more international faculty than we've ever had. So the nature of the faculty is both more global and more local at the same time."

He said he hopes these new changes allow the university to continue to serve as a point of inter exchange and exchange of ideas.

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