SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Mergers affecting four of Georgia's public universities will take effect in January.

At the start of next year, Armstrong State University in Savannah will merge with Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. Both campuses will remain open under the Georgia Southern name with a combined enrollment of roughly 27,000 students.

At the same time, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton is consolidating with Bainbridge State College. They will both use the name Abraham Baldwin and have about 6,000 students total.

The state Board of Regents gave final approval to the mergers Tuesday after nearly a year of preparation work. The move reduces Georgia's total number of public colleges and universities to 26. The University System of Georgia had 35 schools before a consolidation initiative was launched in 2011.