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Georgia tuition hikes coming for 2011

January 19, 2011

Ah, where to start today. It has been a whirlwind of reports about the sad state of affairs in our education system. Atlanta schools are serverd a healthy dose of reality by SACS through accreditation probation, Moving APS closer to revocation. A teacher at DeKalb Schools writes a stinging rebuke of DeKalb schools and its reliance on top administrators and its inability to produce productive and competent members of society. DeKalb decided to increase the superintendents pay in a time of cutbacks and sagging revenues. But I wanted to tackle a different education issue. One that affects people statewide. The head of the University System of Georgia told a a group of legislators the following

Chancellor Erroll Davis told state budget writers Tuesday that it would take a 30 percent tuition increase to offset all of the expect cuts to higher education budgets, but Davis promised that wouldn’t happen. Instead, Davis told a joint hearing of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, the system will look for other cuts and ways to increase efficiencies to lower the hit to students and families.

Still, Davis said students and parents will likely be paying more for college by fall.

It is that last sentence that will likely have you paying more for a college education in Georgia. It seems that every year, parents and students are asked to take on a heavier burden to pay for college. I know some would rather see a tuition hike instead of a fee increase because tuition is covered by scholarships and some grants, but in the end, too many parents end up in debt and too many students leave college already in a deep hole financially. Many students could actually find themselves in financial ruin before they find a job coming out of college. So what do we do? Should we limit the number of students in our research and regional universities? This would take the pressure off those schools, but it may trickle down to the smaller schools. Maybe we should encourage more students to enter into community college for their first two years. Two year schools cost less to operate so costs could be contained and any student who fulfills his or her obligation at a two year institution can move to any four year school in Georgia without loss of credit provided you don’t make drastic changes to your major. Maybe raising standards at the the state’s universities will cull the number of  students thereby reducing costs for everyone.  With rising tuition, many students who work hard to maintain a solid GPA and do all the extra-curricular activities in high school that make their college application look good will find themselves unable to afford to take the next step in their educational careers. With tuition rising 79 percent in the past decade, it will be hard for low-income and lower middle-class folks to keep up. It may be wise for parents to go ahead and have heir child do community college first. It will save them a ton of money over the course of 4-5 years.

See a list of tuition costs at Georgia Schools

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