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USG Maintains Low Tuition, Freezes Mandatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2001

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Atlanta — April 18, 2000

The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents has established new tuition rates for the 2001 Fiscal Year, which will provide Georgians with continued access to one of the nation’s best values for public higher education.

In addition, the board acted to freeze a long list of mandatory student fees for FY 2001, such as athletic, activity, recreation, transportation, health, lab, access card, records and parking fees. The only new mandatory fees approved today were technology fees – established for the first time Systemwide to enhance students’ access to high technology. (Facilities fees for pre-approved projects at Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology were included).

Effective for the Fall 2000 semester, tuition for Georgia residents at the state’s public colleges and universities will increase by only $23 per semester (or $46 per year) at the two-year colleges; $34 per semester (or $68 per year) at the regional and state universities; and only $46 per semester (or $92 per year) at the research universities. Approval for the new charges came at the regents’ monthly meeting, held today (April 19) at Georgia State University, in Atlanta, during a meeting of the Board of Regents Finance and Business Operations Committee (meeting as a committee of the whole). Formal board ratification is expected on Wednesday (April 19). The new rates reflect only a 3.8 percent increase over last year’s charges. Specific rates are as follows:

  • At the System’s 15 two-year colleges, undergraduate tuition will increase from $617 to $640 per semester, only a $23 increase. Undergraduate tuition at the System’s two regional and 13 state universities will increase by only $34 from the previous year, from $904 to $938.

  • At the University System’s four research institutions, resident undergraduate tuition will increase from $1,207 to $1,253 per semester for in-state students, a $46 difference over last year. Non-professional graduate tuition throughout the University System also increased by 3.8 percent at all campuses offering graduate-level programs, consistent with board policy. Higher tuition rates may be proposed for the System’s professional-level graduate programs, according to board policy, to align such programs with the mid-point of comparative programs nationally. Higher increases were proposed for two such professional programs this year: the Master of Science in Management program at Georgia Tech and the medical school programs at the Medical College of Georgia. All other professional graduate programs increased by 3.8 percent.

The tuition and fee action items were two of several on the Board of Regents’ Finance and Business Operations Committee agenda, which also included allocation of the System’s $1.7 billion Fiscal Year 2001 state appropriation to the System’s institutions (including the new units of the public libraries and the State Data Center), and adoption of the merit-based salary policy for University System of Georgia faculty and staff.

The University System’s low tuition increase continues a historical commitment to guarantee affordable access for in-state students, and reflects the lowest increase necessary to meet required program needs during the next fiscal year. Revenues derived from tuition comprise 25 percent of the System’s instructional budget, with the other 75 percent provided via state appropriations.

An annual survey by The College Board of tuition and fees charged by public colleges and universities for 1999-2000 validates Georgia’s claim as a low-tuition state for in-state undergraduate students. The national average for in-state tuition and fees for two-year institutions in 1999-2000 was $1,627 compared to Georgia’s average of $1,416. The national average for four-year institutions was $3,356, compared to Georgia’s $2,416.

The most recent data available from The Chronicle of Higher Education (1998) shows that when tuition is measured as a percentage of per capita income, Georgia ranked in the top ten nationally for best value. Based on an analysis of the Chronicle’s data, the percentage of per capita income needed to pay Georgia’s tuition at four-year colleges and universities was the ninth lowest nationally; the percentage of per capita income needed to cover tuition charged at Georgia’s two-year colleges ranked eighth lowest in the nation. Georgia residents needed 9.4 percent of their per capita income to attend a four-year institution, compared to a national average of 11.8 percent; and 4.6 percent of their per capita income to attend a two-year college, compared to a national average of 5 percent. All technology fees presented to the board for consideration today adhered to a new policy requiring at least 50 percent student representation on the campus fee committee. The new technology fees established at all 34 System institutions will be used to meet the growing need for comprehensive technology improvements on the University System of Georgia’s campuses, and to “add value” to students’ learning experiences. The fees were allowed to move forward for consideration after a rigorous review of four pilot technology programs implemented over the past two years at Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University and Georgia Perimeter College.

“Because of the enthusiastic support of our students and the success of the four technology pilot projects, the University System now is ready to implement these new technology fees,” said Chancellor Stephen R. Portch. “Even though we are later than many other institutions in the country in implementing such fees, I am confident that our implementation will be successful because of what we have learned from the pilots. With the state’s continuing support for technology and now with our students’ support, we are better positioned to help students compete in a technological world.” The fees, which have a ceiling of $75 per semester for research institutions and $38 for all other institutions, will be used, for example, to provide more computers for student use and additional computer help desks.

The budget presentation was led by Chancellor Portch, accompanied by Senior Vice Chancellor for Capital Resources Lindsay A. Desrochers, Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Beheruz Sethna and Associate Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs William R. Bowes.

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