Augusta, GA
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May 18, 2024 11:02 am

by Ross Williams, Georgia Recorder
April 17, 2024

A degree from a Georgia public college or university will soon cost a little more under a plan approved by the Board of Regents Tuesday.

The regents voted to approve a plan that increases tuition by 2.5% for most in-state students. Out-of-staters will pay 5% more, and the plan also creates a new rate for students from other countries, set at 2% higher than out-of-state students.

Chancellor Sonny Perdue praised the regents for keeping tuition flat at all institutions except Middle Georgia College for six of the last eight years but said colleges and universities must deal with higher prices for most of their expenses.

“Anybody that goes to the grocery store and the gas pump or eats out, guess what’s happened? Everybody’s paying more and the inflation has taken over on our campuses as well, from salaries to food costs to virtually everything else. It’s just like our whole economy, just because you’re university doesn’t make you immune to economic trends of inflation, and that’s what’s happened.”

The increase means an in-state University of Georgia student taking more than six credit hours will see their tuition rise from $4,895 to $5,017 per semester, while an out-of-state student will need to fork over $15,136, up from $14,415. The newly-created out-of-country category of students will pay $15,424 for a semester at UGA.

The new rates are set to be effective for the fall 2024 semester. A full list of tuition rates for each institution is available on the University System of Georgia’s website.

Students who take classes online will also pay more – eTuition rates are set to increase by 2.5% for most courses, and the regents approved new fees for fully online students. Web-based learners will soon pay a fee equaling their institution’s technology fee plus half of the institution’s mandatory fees.

The university system’s Chief Fiscal Officer Tracey Cook said the number of students taking classes fully online increased 91% between 2019 and 2022, and most of those students did not have to pay their institution’s mandatory fees.

“Less students paying these fees translates into less revenues to cover expenses, and these declining revenues are occurring while institutions are experiencing increasing costs,” she said. “Some of those costs include, again, increased wages, competition, rising food costs, fixed and escalating debt payments on our public/private venture projects.”

Lawmakers last month approved a budget of $3.39 billion for the university system, which is an increase of about $204 million or 6.4% over the past school year. Gov. Brian Kemp has until May 7 to sign off on the state’s annual budget that would take effect July 1.

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This story is republished from Georgia Recorder under a Creative Commons license. Read the original story.