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Tuition, fees increase across Ga.

The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents approved a three percent tuition increase and a special fees increase for fall 2011.
Increasing tuition by just three percent and increasing fees across the state was a victory for the Board of Regents, who anticipated the tuition increase to be much higher because the giant cut the USG was given from the Georgia legislature, according to the USG news release.
“The absence of funds for enrollment growth, plus the institutional share of $146 million of the System’s reductions, and the elimination of $23 million in federal stimulus funding means the 35 colleges and universities have a $346 million shortfall in FY12,” according to the release.
The goal when trying to create a budget for the USG was to continue quality education while not making it unaffordable.
“The state, the University System, students and parents all continue to see very tight budgets and our tuition proposal reflects these realities,” said USG Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. in the release. “We wanted a balanced strategy that meets the academic needs of our students while maintaining access and affordability.”
The tuition increase ranged from $36 at two-year colleges to $106 at the research universities.
VSU students taking a full course load will pay $2,367 per semester starting in the fall, an increase of $69.
Though many attending college in Georgia will be affected by this increase, those on the Guaranteed Tuition Plan will be able to avoid the tuition increase for a little longer, according to the release.
“It may not be possible to determine exactly how many there are on GTP next year,” Doug Tanner, director of financial aid, said. “It will depend on how many students return in the fall and since registration is ongoing this will change.  There is only one cohort left in the GTP at VSU so I believe that next fall it will somewhere between 1,400 and 1,800 students.”
But all students at all universities, even those with the Guaranteed Tuition Plan, will be paying an increased special institutional fee.  Some universities, like UGA, Georgia Tech and Georgia State will be seeing fee increases of over $200.
The fee, which started two years ago and has increased each year, will increase by $100 at VSU.
“At VSU the fee will increase from $195 this year to $295 for the upcoming year,” Tanner said.
The combination of tuition and extra fees creates about an average of a nine percent increase in what students are paying compared to the current year. However, VSU students will only be seeing a five percent increase in tuition and fees.
The BOR was trying to keep overall increases to a single digit percentage, said Usha Ramachandran, the system’s chief financial officer.
With the FY12 tuition rates, most students will have HOPE cover about 87 percent of tuition.
“We wanted to maintain the HOPE Scholarship payment for FY12 tuition as close to 90 percent of the FY11 tuition rate as possible,” Ramachandran said.

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