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Graduate Tuition Policy, Tuition Guarantee Plan Undergo Minor Refinements

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Atlanta — October 11, 2006

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) approved minor refinements to policies governing graduate tuition rates and the new Guaranteed Tuition Plan for the System’s colleges and universities during its October monthly meeting, held at Fort Valley State University.

Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs Bill Bowes informed the board that its approval in June of the Guaranteed Tuition Plan – which provides students and their parents with greater predictability in planning for college costs and encourages on-time graduation – necessitated changing how graduate tuition rates are determined by the institutions, since prior to this, graduate rates were based on a percentage of the undergraduate rates.

Now that undergraduate tuition is based on the year a student enters the University System and therefore varies from student to student, each USG institution offering graduate programs will request the regents’ approval for a core graduate tuition rate that will apply across the board to all of that institution’s graduate programs. The institutions also may request approval to charge separate competitive rates for specialized graduate programs, Bowes said.

The regents also approved minor revisions to the policy governing the Guaranteed Tuition Plan that:

  • Add programs offered by Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Liberty Center in Hinesville to the list of special programs for which the guarantee will be extended to five years, since the center serves students in the same way as the USG’s three university colleges (university colleges are two-year programs offered by four-year institutions in areas not served by two-year USG colleges);
  • Limit the guaranteed rate for students who transfer to the Medical College of Georgia’s health profession programs as third-year students to no more than two years or six consecutive semesters;
  • Allow students in Middle Georgia College’s Georgia Academy of Mathematics, Engineering and Science (GAMES) and the University of West Georgia’s Advanced Academy of Georgia to be treated as new students, eligible for a four-year guaranteed tuition rate, when they first enter the University System; and
  • Make students in the University of Georgia’s undergraduate programs in landscape architecture and forestry and natural resources eligible for the guaranteed tuition rate for four years, even though these programs have differential tuition rates.

The Guaranteed Tuition Plan, implemented this fall for new students, offers new freshmen entering four-year USG institutions a fixed tuition rate for the next four years and new freshmen at two-year institutions a fixed rate for three years. The plan applies only to degree-seeking undergraduate students, and does not include mandatory fees or expenses for room and board.

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