Tuition and fees at Georgia public universities will increase in the fall of 2024


Barnesville, Ga. (AP) – Students must pay more to attend GeorgiaAt public universities and colleges in the 2024-2025 academic year, officials say schools face rising costs and must charge more to maintain a quality education.

The Regents voted Tuesday to raise tuition and fees at the system’s 26 schools. The typical Georgia school will charge in-state undergraduate students $6,466 in tuition and mandatory fees next year, a 2.4% increase from this year’s $6,317.

Tuition and fees will range from $3,506 at East Georgia State College in Swainsboro to $12,058 at Georgia Tech.

However, the typical student will still have to pay less than in 2022. Later that year, the Regents eliminated the fees charged on top of tuition, reducing costs at almost all institutions.

Tracy Cook, the university system’s chief financial officer, told the Regents that universities are paying higher costs for items including technology, software, food, utilities and insurance, while they are also having to spend more on staff salaries. While state appropriations fund salary increases for most academic staff, universities must finance salary increases for most support staff from their own funds.

Cook told the Regents, “We must increase tuition to improve how we graduate and retain our students, to maintain a consistent standard of quality, and as discussed , keep pace with rising costs, while we look for ways to be more efficient.” Tuesday’s meeting at Gordon State College in Barnesville.

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The cost of renting dorm rooms and purchasing meal plans will also increase systemwide.

The Regents had generally kept tuition the same for four consecutive years and six of the last eight years. Georgia’s typical tuition and fees are lower than all but two states in the 16-state region covered by the Southern Regional Board of Education.

For students who receive the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship, the scholarship will pay for higher tuition. However, students and their families must pay the mandatory fees themselves. Although many Georgia students receive other types of financial aid, more than 35% now borrow to pay for college and some students borrow more than $5,500 on average.

The university system also approved further increases in tuition for students coming from outside the country. They will now pay 2% more than students from outside Georgia, who already pay tuition rates that are three times or more what in-state students pay. Institutions sometimes waive out-of-state fees.

The system also said it would increase fees for students taking online classes at most universities. Many schools are waiving all or part of their mandatory fees, as online students do not benefit from some of the things paid for by student fees, such as student activities or athletics. Fees for online students will be lower than in-person students.

Officials said student fees are not generating enough money to provide financial support for the projects they finance, such as student centers, recreational and athletic facilities and parking garages.

“Fewer students pay these fees, resulting in less revenue to cover expenses,” Cook said. “And these declines in revenues are occurring at a time when institutions are experiencing increases in costs.”

The state will finance about $3.4 billion of the system’s roughly $9 billion budget in the year starting July 1. Lawmakers have increased state funding for universities by $200 million, or 6.4%, under the budget awaiting Governor Brian Kemp’s signature. Of that amount, $97 million is for a 4% pay raise for employees. Lawmakers also restored $66 million in tuition funding that was cut in a controversy last year. The Regents said they will continue to provide some additional funding to smaller schools with declining enrollment.

Chattahoochee Hills Regent Douglas Aldridge said the budget increase “will go a long way in providing a quality education experience for our students.”

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