by Nyamekye Daniel
Students at Georgia’s public universities and colleges will pay the same amount in tuition and fees during the next academic year.
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) voted this month to freeze the rates for the second consecutive year. It is the fourth time in six years the USG board has not raised tuition rates.
“USG over the past several years has remained committed to making public higher education as affordable as possible for students and their families, while maintaining results that rank our campuses among some of the best in the nation,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “We are grateful for the support of the board and state leaders toward this priority, and recognize students’ hard work, especially over the past year, to maintain success toward graduating and entering Georgia’s workforce with college degrees.”
The average cost of college tuition dropped in the 2020-2021 academic year from the prior year in public colleges and universities, U.S. News data showed. The nationwide average cost of in-state tuition and fees at a public college for the 2020-2021 academic year was $9,687.
Officials said USG has kept tuition increases since 2016 at its 26 institutions to an average of 0.75% annually, which is below the rate of inflation. The system now has the third-lowest median in-state tuition and fees for undergraduates at four-year institutions among the 16 states that make up the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), officials said.
A freshman at the state’s most expensive public university, the Georgia Institute of Technology, would pay $6,426 a semester for in-state tuition and fees in the 2021-22 academic year. A freshman at South Georgia State College, which has the lowest in-state tuition, would pay about $1,940 with mandatory fees.
Georgia Public Policy Foundation President and CEO Kyle Wingfield said more than 99% of in-state freshmen at Georgia Institute of Technology have either the state’s HOPE or the Zell Miller scholarships. The Zell Miller scholarship covers 100% of tuition, and HOPE covers around 75% of tuition. The Georgia Lottery Corporation funds the scholarships through lottery revenue. It is unclear how many South Georgia State College freshmen receive the scholarships.
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Nyamekye Daniel is a regular contributor to The Center Square. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times.
Photo “Students on campus” by University System of Georgia.