Tuition Set By Board of Regents For FY ‘99
Atlanta — April 8, 1998
After four years of implementing tuition reforms that have improved costs for in-state undergraduate students, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia today (April 8) approved a 3 percent tuition increase for resident undergrads, beginning with summer classes. The action was taken at the regents’ April meeting held at Darton College. There has been no lower increase in undergraduate, in-state tuition in the past 16 years.
University System Chancellor Stephen R. Portch said that the Board of Regents had instructed University System administrators to work diligently to keep undergraduate tuition costs increases at a reasonable level. The 3 percent increase reflects the minimum amount needed to ensure that tuition revenues for the University System as a whole comprise 25 percent of the instructional budget as agreed upon by University System officials and their funding partners. The remaining 75 percent of the instructional budget comes from state appropriations.
“The tuition policies that we have implemented over the past four years have put us in the position to achieve a much lower increase for our resident undergraduate students,” said Portch. “With the increased revenues that we are generating from pricing out-of-state tuition and our graduate and professional programs at their fair market value, we are able to hold the line on costs for Georgia undergraduates. I am pleased with this relatively low increase and how it will help our students. Our faculty are making a real difference for our students, and keeping tuition low allows us to enhance access to the high quality education we are providing.”
The increase will be in effect beginning Summer 1998. The increase was calculated after tuition rates were converted from the University System’s previous quarter calendar to the new semester calendar, which begins in Fall 1998 for 33 of the University System’s 34 institutions. (Georgia Tech will continue to use the quarter calendar until Fall 1999, when it converts to semesters).
In the Fall Semester of 1998, at the System’s two-year institutions, resident tuition will increase by $17 per semester on the converted scale from the previous quarterly calendar, from $573 to $590 per semester. Undergraduate tuition at the University System’s regional and state universities and state colleges will increase by $25 per semester on a converted scale for in-state students, from $840 to $865 per semester. At the System’s research institutions, resident undergraduate tuition will increase on a converted scale from $1,121 to $1,155 per semester for in-state students, a $34 difference over last year.
Nationally and regionally, Georgia enjoys excellent rankings for affordable tuition. According to an annual study conducted by the State of Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board, the 1997-98 average national cost for undergraduate attendance at a research university was $3,515 on an annual basis, compared to $2,739 in Georgia. At the state college and university level, the average national cost is $2,788 compared to $2,059 in Georgia. At the two-year college level, the average national cost is $1,498, compared to $1,296 in Georgia. Within the 15 states served the by Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), Georgia ranks fifth of 15 states for the cost of tuition at a public research university, with a regional average is $2,907 compared to Georgia’s $2,739. Among state colleges and universities in the SREB region, Georgia ranks 12 of 15, with a cost of $2,059 compared to the regional average of $2,476.
In line with its Policy Direction on Tuition approved in 1995, the Board of Regents is completing the final year of implementation of its four-year phase-in plan aimed at having out-of state-students pay their full cost of education. Out-of-state students attending University System institutions will pay approximately 9 percent more than last year, depending on the category of institution they attend. With this action, out-of-state students now will pay 100 percent of their instructional costs.
Board of Regents’ tuition reform policies adopted in February 1996 also call for a 20 percent differential between graduate and undergraduate tuition charges phased in over a four-year period. Year three of this phase-in effort also will be implemented in Fiscal Year 1999, and will be in addition to the 3 percent adjustment on undergraduate enrollment. The board also voted to continue implementation of its tuition differential for select professional programs, a policy approved to bring tuition rates for those programs more in line with rates at identified peer institutions. This year the decision impacts the doctoral-level pharmacy, veterinary medicine and law programs at UGA; and the master’s program in management at Georgia Tech.
A Task Group on Resident Undergraduate Tuition was convened by Chancellor Portch last August, charged with developing the suggested tuition increase for 1998-99 and with recommending a ground rule for future undergraduate increases. They conducted the research to achieve this year’s 75/25 percent funding ratio and are still at work on long-term tuition recommendations.
A major portion of the Board’s meeting was focused on the allocation of individual campus budgets, a presentation made by Senior Vice Chancellor for Capital Resources Lindsay Desrochers and Associate Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs William Bowes. The Board approved its Fiscal Year 1999 budget allocations, which in addition to operating budgets for the 34 System institutions, also included budgets for several special funding initiatives, including the successful Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP), which serves Georgia’s statewide economic development activities. The ICAPP initiative includes $1.6 million for educating computer and information technology specialists at six University System locations, to start addressing a statewide and national shortage of computer technology professionals.