Nationally, according to College Board’s report “Annual Survey of Colleges,” yearly tuition for four-year institutions climbed up roughly $400 on average, an increase of 5 percent, bringing the average cost to an estimated $8,655. At two-year colleges, that cost went up $172 to $2,959.
The average overall cost, or “sticker price,” which includes costs and fees students must pay like activity fees, transportation and meal plans, rose 3.8 percent nationally to $22,261.
The University System of Georgia reported a 1 percent increase to $7,504 on average. That’s a 63 percent increase over the last five years.
States nationwide have cut $15.2 billion from the college’s funding, or 17.4 percent. Coupled with 12 percent enrollment growth nationwide, higher tuitions were inevitable.
On a local level, University of West Georgia students pay an additional $59 per semester for their education to $2,426.
According to an announcement from the University System Tuesday, the 2.5 percent tuition increase was partially the result of “Gov. Nathan Deal recommending and the General Assembly agreeing to full funding of the formula for the University System of Georgia.”
“The board and I are very sensitive to the present economic realities facing our students and parents,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby in a prepared statement. “We are thankful for the actions of the Governor and the General Assembly of fully funding the formula; it allows us to take a very conservative approach to current tuition. It also helps us maintain accessibility and affordability as we pursue increasing college completion rates across the state.”
According to information from John Millsaps, associate vice chancellor of the USG’s office of media and publications, the fee was originally enacted in 2009, and was scheduled for conclusion in June. The Board of Regents, he said, decided to continue the fees for the current year, and from now on the fees will be adopted on a year-by-year basis.
The University of West Georgia will be on the receiving end of some $2 million in general obligation bonds for the coming year, which will be used to fund the purchase of equipment for the university’s new nursing building. The building’s construction is currently under way next door to the new campus book store.
For the 2012-2013 school year, this fee amounted to $290 for UWG students.
On the technical side, students attending West Georgia Technical College, or any of Georgia’s 25 technical colleges, will see a 13 percent tuition increase and a new mandatory fee for the spring semester in January.
The state technical college board voted last month to increase tuition by $10 per credit hour, from $75 to $85. That means a full 15-hour course load will increase $150, from $1,125 to $1,275.
The board also added a new $50 “institutional fee” per semester, starting in January, and a $50 fee for each online course, starting in the fall, 2013. This means students will pay an average of $223 in fees, beginning this spring.
“Even with the tuition increase, our technical college education is one of the best deals going anywhere in education, because graduates get credentials they can put to work immediately,” said Dawn Cook, WGTC’s vice president of Institutional Advancement. “We certainly understand the economic realities facing our students, many who are in school to get the skills they need to better provide for themselves and their families.”
Cook said WGTC currently offers many forms of financial assistance to help students deal with the costs of higher education.
“We’ll continue to look for creative ways to help our students deal with their costs,” she said.
The report from College Board said New Hampshire and Vermont were the highest published in-state yearly tuition charges at roughly $14,000 each. Wyoming published the lowest tuition cost with $4,287, followed by Utah at $5,595.