We will ensure affordability for students by containing costs and optimizing efficiency across the system.
We cannot ensure access and success without being affordable. While the Board of Regents has kept tuition and fee increases to a minimum, we need to do more to address the full cost of students’ attendance such as room and board, books and other course materials. Additionally, we must continue to find ways to be more efficient while maintaining quality in our operations. The Comprehensive Administrative Review (CAR), for example, provided recommendations to improve efficiency and help avoid administrative duplication often found in services like student enrollment processing, residency verification, assessing fee waivers, etc. Savings obtained through optimizing efficiencies can be redirected to student success, by hiring faculty and expanding student services.
While being mindful about costs, USG institutions must also be good stewards of all of our resources. Investing in sustainable materials, technologies and operations are also necessary for achieving this goal. We can further identify savings and exercise good stewardship by creating a sustainable enterprise.
Our students, and their families, invest considerable time and money to earn a college degree. It is our responsibility to ensure they have information to make the best financial decisions about paying for their education. In addition, our goal is to help students achieve their academic goals at the lowest cost. Finding more efficient ways for course registration and financial aid, and reducing administrative red tape, will save them time and money. By advancing these strategies, we will assure our students, the taxpayers of Georgia and our funding partners, the Governor and General Assembly, that we are good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
Strategies for Responsible Stewardship
Affordable Learning Georgia / OER
Reducing textbook costs represents a significant opportunity to ensure affordability for students. Our Affordable Learning Georgia initiative will continue with the following objectives:
- Awarding USG grants to provide free and open textbooks, commonly called Open Education Resources (OER), and often referred to as “eTextbooks.”
- Working with faculty to redesign courses to take advantage of free and low-cost materials in place of costly textbooks.
- Use OER in all USG eCore online courses and continue to expand the use of free eTextbooks in the classroom.
Know More Borrow Less
Long-term affordability for students is enhanced when they borrow less money and therefore experience a total lower cost of attendance. USG is implementing a systemwide effort to reduce student borrowing through financial literacy training, enhanced electronic communications, automated tools and business process changes designed to better help students and their families make decisions. Activities within this initiative include:
- Deploying automated tools designed to remove barriers in the student aid process.
- Proactively distributing a standardized annual electronic “debt notice” to students explaining their current student loan obligations, projected cost to repay, career and repayment information and more.
- Implementing standardized electronic college financing plan notices that clearly shows individualized cost of attendance, student aid offered and the projected amount a student/family would be required to pay for that period of enrollment.
- Installing artificial intelligence services at all campuses that consistently provide relevant, high quality information to students and families at any time.
- Re-designing our business processes so students and families can more easily determine and select an amount to borrow that meets their needs rather than simply accepting the maximum available under federal rules.
As Strategic Plan 2024 progresses, additional information will become available for the following strategies:
Limit tuition increases and evaluate use of fees
Implement best practices and optimize student services in financial aid
Implement "Careers" module to improve HR management, improve administrative quality, and streamline processes
Assess and implement unified, technologically effective and efficient enterprise system