by T.A. DeFeo
When Georgia’s fiscal 2023 budget starts on July 1, students will see a bit of a reprieve on their bills.
The budget includes $230 million for the University System of Georgia (USG) to eliminate a so-called Special Institutional Fee (SIF). The fee ranges from $170 to $544 per semester, depending on the institution.
“The university system’s longstanding commitment to affordability helps empower students, keeping them on track to learn the skills they need to get good jobs in a highly skilled workforce,” USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue said in an announcement.
The USG Board of Regents voted last week to eliminate the SIF. It also agreed to not raise tuition rates at most institutions for the 2022-23 academic year.
“Affordability is one of the board’s highest priorities as our institutions work to increase degree attainment and maintain Georgia’s ranking as one of the best public university systems in the nation,” Board Chairman Harold Reynolds said in an announcement.
While the board agreed to keep tuition flat for the third consecutive year and for the fifth time in seven years, tuition will remain the same at 25 of the state’s 26 institutions.
Middle Georgia State University is the sole exception, as the school is starting a three-year plan to align its undergraduate tuition with other universities. The school will increase fees from $17 per credit hour for in-state undergraduate students to $64 per credit hour for out-of-state undergraduates.
“Middle Georgia State University remains Georgia’s most affordable public university, with one of the lowest tuition rates of any public university in the Southeast,” Christopher Blake, the university’s president, said in an announcement. “One of our core values is stewardship, and this adjustment allows us to be even stronger stewards of our commitment and resources in support of our students’ success.”
According to the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI), SIP represents roughly 40% of students’ mandatory fees.
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T.A. DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Students on Campus” by University System of Georgia.