— Education

Georgia colleges hold tuition flat for second straight year

ATLANTA (AP) – The 340,000 students at Georgia’s public universities and colleges won’t pay more for classes next fall, with regents approving flat tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year on Tuesday. Officials say they could hold tuition flat at the 26 schools for the second year in a row – and the fourth year out of six – thanks to federal relief money and a slight increase in state funding. According to the Southern Regional Education Board, the typical Georgia undergraduate was charged $7,142 in tuition and mandatory fees this year. Many paid less because of financial aid or HOPE scholarships. Georgia’s sticker price was lower than three other states in the 16-state region.

“The system’s priorities of graduating more students, affordability, and efficiency are at the forefront when setting tuition rates,” Vice-Chancellor Tracey Cook told regents. Tuition and mandatory fees for two full semesters will range from $12,852 at Georgia Tech to $3,806 at East Georgia State College. System officials said tuition had risen 0.75% annually since 2016, below the broader inflation rate. Cook acknowledged that many universities made painful budget cuts last year when schools had to refund students or forgo hundreds of millions in revenue when in-person classes were canceled. Much of that came from the system’s $1 billion budget for auxiliary operations such as dormitories and food service.

Georgia colleges

The system then took a 10% cut in state funds, equal to $240 million. But officials said raising student prices would be wrong when many families have seen their income drop during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Holding tuition flat for another year recognizes the financial hardships many of our students and their families face during the pandemic,” Cook said. The system is in line for a $157 million boost in state funding mainly tied to Gov enrollment growth. Brian Kemp signs the budget for the year beginning July 1. Lawmakers essentially didn’t restore formula funding they had cut, though, besides $8 million they put back for units that don’t get student revenue, such as the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Outgoing Chancellor Steve Wrigley said state money would be needed to keep tuition low. “State funding is critical to ensure we can continue on this track, so we are very grateful for the support te have received,” Wrigley told regents. Wrigley said federal money would address revenue shortfalls and capital spending. University System of Georgia officials said earlier they would also use the money to pay $1,000 bonuses to employees, mirroring plans to pay dividends to K-12 and state employees. The system is spending about $8.1 billion in the year ending June 30, with $2.3 billion coming from the state. The system planned to collect $2.2 billion in tuition and academic fees this year.

Gemma Broadhurst
I am a writer by profession, and I love to write in my spare time. I am one of the most experienced writer for newspriest. I always make sure that whatever is written on my blog is 100% genuine and true. I am a University of Florida graduate pursuing a Master's degree.

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