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Permanent Status, Tuition Increase Approved for Georgia WebMBA

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Atlanta — June 13, 2002

The popular Georgia WebMBA™ program offered by five University System of Georgia institutions graduated from pilot program to permanent status Wednesday, as the Board of Regents approved a tuition increase that will enable its developers to continue enhancing the program’s quality.

This master of business administration degree program targeting working-professional, non-traditional students is the result of collaboration between Georgia College & State University, Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University, State University of West Georgia and Valdosta State University. The business schools at these institutions have collaborated in pooling faculty and administrative resources to provide online graduate education to students who do not have the time, access or employer support to attend classroom-based master-of-business-administration programs.

“The Georgia WebMBA™ has a remarkable student retention rate that compares quite favorably to similar programs throughout the nation,” said Kris Biesinger, the Board of Regents’ assistant vice chancellor for advanced learning technologies. She noted that 93 percent of the 29 students who enrolled in late 2000 to take the first year of online classes towards a master’s in business administration degree are expected to graduate by the end of this year.

“Making this tremendously collaborative initiative a permanent program within the University System is just the next logical step,” said Kenneth L. Stanley, dean of the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration at Valdosta State and chair of the Georgia WebMBA Consortium that runs the program. “I see the Georgia WebMBA™ as a big success story for the state. We are allowing working adults to continue to support their families and contribute to the local and state economy while pursuing their education.”

The newly approved tuition rates will increase the cost for Georgia WebMBA™ students from $250 to $350 per credit hour, but Stanley pointed out that similar web-based MBA programs cost much more. For example, Duke University charges $1,542 per credit hour, and the University of Phoenix charges $505 per credit hour. These two competitors have increased their advertising efforts in the Atlanta market, and the Georgia WebMBA Consortium will use the increased revenues to hire a full-time program director and step up its recruitment efforts, Stanley said.

He noted that Georgia WebMBA™ students were offered an opportunity to comment on the proposed tuition increase and expressed no strong opposition.

The tuition increase will take effect in August, when the third class of Georgia WebMBA™ students is admitted into the program. Individuals interested in applying for admission can learn more about the program through the following website: http://www.webmbaonline.org.

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