Board of Regents approves tuition increases

Alanna Navin

Yesterday the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved a 2.5 percent tuition increase for Georgia Southern University undergraduates.

The increase is the same as last year, which was the lowest increase in a decade, and the resulting dollar increase will range from a low of $32 to a high of $270 a semester, according to the Board of Regents website.

“In determining tuition rates for the upcoming academic year, affordability was the regents’ primary concern,” John Brown, vice chancellor for Fiscal Affairs, said in presenting the tuition strategy to the Board during its meeting in Savannah.

“The research universities got a much higher tuition increase. Georgia State and Georgia Regents got a three and a half percent increase. Georgia got a five percent, and I think Georgia Tech got a seven percent,” GSU President Brooks Keel said.

According to the Board of Regents there are four research universities: University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Regents University and Georgia State University, Keel said.

The small percentage increase was made possible because of the strong budget provided to the USG by Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly in the fiscal year 2014 budget, according to the Board of Regents website.

“From students paying tuition, it’s definitely lower, so that’s to your benefit. The flip side of that, though, is that there’s less money for us to hire faculty,” Keel said.

There was an increase in the formula funding for this year as well, which is what the Board of Regents bases how much money is given out, Keel said.

“We received $63 million in new formula funds to support our enrollment growth. This is critical to our efforts to minimize tuition increases for students and we appreciate the support,” Chancellor Haml Huckaby said in the news release.

The money for the university comes from two sources: tuition and fees and the state.

Huckaby said that as the board works to achieve the goal of Complete College Georgia of graduating 25,000 students, the board is doing everything possible to ensure that the cost to attend college is not a barrier.