Guaranteed-Tuition Task Force Presents Recommendations
Atlanta — June 7, 2006
Additional details of the new Board of Regents’ guaranteed-tuition plan were unveiled today in a report from the implementation task force charged with fleshing out the specifics.
The regents approved policy revisions clearly defining the terms of the guarantee and outlining how tuition rates will be determined when students fail to graduate within the specified period of time covered by the guarantee, as well as how appeals and a variety of special circumstances will be handled.
The revised policy offers new freshmen entering the University System’s four-year institutions this fall a fixed tuition rate for the next four years - defined as 12 consecutive semesters, regardless of the number of these semesters in which the student is enrolled. New freshmen at the USG’s two-year institutions will be charged a fixed tuition rate for three years - defined as nine consecutive semesters. A student’s decision to skip a semester or two, pursue multiple degrees or continue to take courses after graduation will not alter the duration of the guaranteed rate.
According to the policy revisions, students who have not graduated by the time their guaranteed tuition rate expires will be charged the guaranteed rate for new students entering college in the USG at the time the original guarantee expires. This rate will increase each year as the Board of Regents approves a new guaranteed rate for new students.
“The intent of our new tuition guarantee is twofold,” said Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. “We are making it a great deal easier for students and their families to plan with confidence for college expenses. However, we also have created a financial incentive for students to graduate on time. This allows us to make more efficient use of our resources, and gives taxpayers a better return on their investment.”
William Bowes, the University System of Georgia’s vice chancellor for fiscal affairs, obtained the approval of the regents to revise the section of their Policy Manual governing tuition and fees based on recommendations made by the Guaranteed Tuition Implementation Task Force, which he headed. This 16-member team was comprised of key University System Office administrators and a cross-functional group of campus officials representing seven USG institutions: the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University, the University of West Georgia and Gainesville State College.
The guaranteed-tuition policy - which applies to degree-seeking undergraduate students only - requires each USG institution to establish its own process for handling appeals regarding extenuating circumstances. Individual institutions also will have the authority to decide if some degree programs require a longer guarantee period (up to five years), based on the amount of credits required for degree completion.
New students who enroll in the University System for the first time during the summer will be charged the guaranteed tuition rate for that semester, but, come fall, will be charged the guaranteed rate approved by the Board of Regents for the new academic year. That fall-semester rate then will be guaranteed for the next three or four years, depending on the type of institution and the program in which the student is enrolled.
How the guaranteed tuition rates will apply to students who transfer into and between various institutions of the University System remains under discussion by the implementation team and will be considered at a future meeting.