SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the final tuition rates for the 2019-2020 academic year on Tuesday.
Depending on the style of institution, tuition will increase 2.5%, which could range between $35 to $125 per semester for a full-time, in-state undergraduate student.
The approved increase means students here at Georgia Southern’s Armstrong Campus and across the state will be paying 2.5 percent more to come to classes next year.
In a packed meeting in Savannah, the university system of Georgia's board of regents decided to up tuition for in and out-of-state undergraduate students.
Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero says affordablity is critically important, but calls the increase a sound and practical decision.
“We’re incredibly affordable, and we have to start there with any discussion,” said Marrero.
Compared to 15 neighboring states, he says Georgia has the third lowest undergraduate tuition costs of the group, and in the last five years, it’s only increased by 1.7%.
Marrero says Georgia Southern Students will pay about $68 extra per semester.
“For some of our students, $68 is you know, but we’re working with them on raising money and gap scholarships and ways to fill those in,” Marrero said.
He and Savannah State University President Cheryl Dozier agree higher tuition will help them offset budget cuts caused by decreasing enrollment.
“Right now, this will really help us as we move into our next fiscal year to enhance our academics as well as our enrollment management, so we’re very excited about the impact that the increased tuition revenues can have,” Dozier said.
“This will provide new revenue of which we then can support faculty positions, direct instruction and student support services,” Marrero added.
Enrollment is down across the state, according to the Board of Regents, so it’s using almost $83 million of its budget to find a formula to boost it.
The recently approved state budget increased the university system’s funding more than 6 percent, giving it a total of $2.58 billion to spend in 2020.
The Board chose to not raise tuition in 2016 or 2018. By limiting that increase to 2.5% for this academic year, the rate of tuition has increased 1.7% over the past 5 years which is less than the rate of inflation. A report from Georgia’s auditor shows that tuition rates charges by USG schools averages 25% less than rates charged by similar institutions in other states.
“Limiting tuition increases to 2.5 percent will help enable institutions to balance the critical needs of affordability and quality for students and families,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “At the same time, USG will continue building upon systemwide initiatives to ensure on-time college completion, increase student access to free textbooks and reduce student borrowing. USG institutions are advancing our priorities of affordability, efficiency and degree attainment while continuing to provide students with a high-quality education.”
Click here to read more on the breakdown of costs for universities per credit hour.