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September 30, 2022 9:27 pm

Local News

Georgia Has Numerous Schools and Affordable Tuition, But Low Graduation Rates

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Anzhe Zhang

Georgia is one of the top 14 states in the country with 160 or more colleges or universities, according to a study compiled with data from the Department of Education that measures SAT scores, tuition, and more within states for 2022.

Among Georgia’s 160 schools, 51 are public institutions while 109 are private, placing the state in the top 30 percent when it comes to the number of institutions for higher learning within a state.

Georgia’s higher education system is marked by a litany of positive data, including a stellar student-to-faculty ratio for its student size, and lower tuition compared to neighbors like South Carolina and Florida. However, the state suffers from a low graduation rate and middling SAT scores. Georgia’s K-12 school system, like other states, is also experiencing widespread teacher burnout and staffing shortages, factors which have direct implications for higher education success for students in the state.

Graduation rate remains a key issue for Georgians, as the state falls in the lower 50 percent when it comes to degree completion.

Tuition for Georgia students averaged $16,807 dollars, with state residents paying $12,401 dollars, while the acceptance rate for schools averaged 69.65 percent.

Georgia sits at the top of the nation when it comes to student population, ranking at 11th place with a total of 550,924 students. It ranks significantly higher than other states in the region like South Carolina and Tennessee with 237,094 and 334,268 students, respectively. But it ranks lower than neighboring states like Florida and North Carolina with 1,079,866 and 560,889 students, respectively.

Despite having a high student population, the students-to-faculty ratio in Georgia is comparable to states that have a much lower student body, with an average of 15.75 students to one faculty.

Compared to the national average, Georgia falls close to the bottom quarter when it comes to SAT scores and the bottom half when it comes to graduation rate, signifying areas that need improvement. Students in Georgia who enrolled in college scored an average of 1,071 points on the SAT while the state graduation rate was 43.29 percent.

While these two categories show Georgia is above average compared to many states across the nation, it also highlights a major gap between Georgia and other states and territories, like neighboring Tennessee with an average SAT score of 1,092 points and where the graduation rate is several percentage points higher at 53.28 percent.