Georgia second highest in nation for average college tuition increase

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - We all know the cost of college isn't getting any cheaper these days but some states are leaving others in the dust when it comes to tuition hikes, and Georgia is one of them.

A new report reveals just how much tuition has jumped in the past five years state by state.

State universities in Georgia saw the second-highest jump in tuition over the past five years nationwide.

Since 2010, the cost of attending a four-year public college in the state increased by an average of 48 percent. And our local colleges are no exception.

"Ways we've dealt with it is working with our students in the best way we can to expose them to all of the opportunities for financial aid," said Armstrong State University Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Georj Lewis.

Dr. Lewis said that while tuition at Armstrong has gone up over the past five years, the increase has only been about half of that statewide average.

"At Armstrong, students are concerned about the cost of going to school, but we have so many opportunities for them that it is very possible for a student to attend and not have some of the same burden they may have at other institutions across the country," said Dr. Lewis.

Meanwhile at Savannah State University, tuition has gone up 36 percent in the last five years, more of a jump than Armstrong but still below the state average.

But the increases don't seem to be affecting enrollment.

SSU has seen a steady rise in the number of students over the past five years. The same goes for Armstrong, where this semester's enrollment has seen another boost.

"Parents and families see the value of going to college, and as a result of that we've had a strong enrollment this fall and we're going to continue to grow," said Dr. Lewis.

But as enrollment and tuition grow, so are other expenses like books and fees, and that overall cost of education is a concern for a number of students on the Armstrong and Savannah State campuses.

"My tuition went up a lot this year. I had to pull out a different loans and stuff like that," said Shalakia Newton, sophomore at SSU.

"And you're like 'oh my gosh, I have all of these loans.' And it's just kind of in the back of your mind all the time, but you have to think that it's well worth it. It's an investment for my future," said Jamielee Korolovich, sophomore at ASU.

"So, I kind of need a little more money, so I've been looking for more loans even though I don't want to take it out, but I haven't been able to find a job, so," said Adayshia Carlis, sophomore at SSU.

"It's a lot of work and a lot of sleepless nights, but I think if you put in a lot of work and are willing to sacrifice a lot, then it pays off," said Tyler Allen, junior at ASU.

If you're wondering how other states have fared in the southeast:

  • Public college tuition up 34 percent in Alabama in the last five years.
  • Tennessee saw a hike of 28 percent.
  • Tuition was up 25 percent in Florida.
  • In South Carolina, only a 10 percent average increase in tuition since 2010.

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