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Tuition to be Set By Board of Regents For Fiscal Year 2000

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Atlanta — April 19, 1999

For the second year in a row, the Board of Regents will consider a tuition increase recommendation of less than 5 percent. If approved, that means in-state undergraduate students attending University System campuses will pay only $27 to $52 more per semester than last year.

The board will consider an across-the-board 4.5 percent increase, effective with the Fall Semester of 1999, during their two-day monthly meeting, which will be held this month on the campus of Savannah State University. The regents also will act on tuition increase recommendations for the University System’s graduate programs ranging from $85 to $113, and the continuation of tuition reforms that include cost differentials for selective professional programs at the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

The recommended increases are designed to maintain the regents’ commitment to guarantee affordable access to the University System for in-state students, and reflect the lowest increase necessary to meet required revenue demands during the next fiscal year. Revenues derived from tuition comprise 25 percent of the System’s instructional budget, with 75 percent provided by the state.

“Georgia’s University System has a tuition program that is competitive and reasonably priced,” said Chancellor Stephen R. Portch. “We have completed the phase-in of our tuition reform initiatives, and now have a more equitable structure upon which to price our increasingly outstanding academic programs.”

If the recommendations are approved, in Fall 1999 at the University System’s research institutions, resident undergraduate tuition will increase from $1,155 to $1,207 per semester for in-state students, a $52 difference over last year. Undergraduate tuition at the System’s regional and state universities and four-year colleges will increase by $39 for in-state students, from $865 to $904 per semester. At the two-year colleges, resident tuition will increase by $27 from the previous year, from $590 to $617 per semester.

According to an annual study conducted by the State of Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board, the 1998-99 average national cost for undergraduate tuition and fees at a research university was $3,686, compared to $2,930 in Georgia. At the state college and university level, the average national cost is $2,915 compared to $2,144 in Georgia. At the two-year college level, the average national cost is $1,544, compared to $1,386 in Georgia. Georgia’s tuition costs rank the state in the lower half of tuition costs compared to the national average.

With the board’s actions on the tuition recommendations, regents also would complete full implementation of a four-year plan to achieve competitive costs for the University System’s graduate programs, with the final installment of an additional 5 percent increase for graduate-level courses, which is in addition to the approximate 4.5 percent across-the-board increase. In accordance with its Policy Direction on Tuition, approved in 1995, the Board of Regents has positioned graduate tuition throughout the University System at 20 percent above undergraduate tuition costs. In-state graduate students at UGA, Georgia State, Georgia Tech and the Medical College of Georgia would pay $1,448 per semester, up from $1,335 last year.

Additional tuition reform policies adopted by the board in February 1996 called for implementation of a tuition differential for select professional programs, a policy aimed at positioning tuition rates for premier professional programs more closely with rates at identified peer institutions. This year the decision impacts the pharmacy, veterinary medicine and law programs at UGA; Georgia State’s MBA/M.S. program and Ph.D. in nursing program; and the master’s program in management at Georgia Tech. The policy to have out-of-state students pay the full cost of instruction was completed last year.

The tuition recommendations will be conducted within a broader financial context during the board’s Finance and Business Operations Committee meeting, during which regents will learn the details of the University System’s $1. 636 billion Fiscal Year 2000 budget. Four board actions resulted from the agenda item, including: budget allocations to the System’s 34 campuses, establishment of the FY 2000 tuition rates, approval of mandatory student fees, and merit-based salary policy adoption.

The budget also includes proposed allocations for several special funding initiatives, including the University System’s $3 million Teacher Preparation Initiative, aimed at enhancing teacher preparation and continuing professional development through the state; its $2 million Regional Engineering Initiative, which is designed to expand engineering education in areas of key demand, particularly in the Statesboro/Savannah region; the $1.5 million Desktop Learning Program, aimed at increasing educational access for working adults by removing the barriers of time and location; and the state’s $11.6 million Yammacraw project, which will position Georgia as an economic development leader in the information technology, electronic design and high-bandwidth communications industries.

Chancellor Portch will lead the budget presentation, accompanied by Senior Vice Chancellor for Capital Resources Lindsay A. Desrochers, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs James L. Muyskens and Associate Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs William R. Bowes.

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