Tuition increase expected for Georgia’s public colleges

Nathaly Ordonez
college because it was too expensive, but is now studying business so she can work in advertising when she graduates. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

ATLANTA (AP) — Tuition at Georgia’s public colleges and universities will increase 2 percent next fall.

The university system of Georgia estimates that full-time, undergraduate students who live in-state will pay an extra $27 to $98 a semester, WABE Radio reported (http://bit.ly/2oTxmSx).

But some students say even a small price hike could hurt, and some who have Georgia’s HOPE scholarship say the increase is unsettling.

Georgia Tech freshmen Jessica Samuel and Anjana Anandkumar both qualified for the Zell Miller scholarship. It’s part of the HOPE program, and pays for full tuition. But to keep it, they need to have a 3.3 Grade Point Average. Samuel said that’s not easy.

“That’s a really big concern for both of us,” she told the radio station. “We’re sweating bullets every day, because what if we lose this? We won’t be able to pay our tuition anymore.”

Anandkumar said she’s trying to hang on to her scholarship.

“I had a pretty terrible first semester,” she said. “My GPA fell. I didn’t expect it to fall so much, but one bad class brought it down way past all the cut offs. So, this semester, I’m struggling to bring it back up.”

University system officials said they’re sensitive to such concerns. They say tuition increases are needed to keep up with increased costs and to maintain quality.

“Frankly, we don’t like to raise tuition. It’s not a popular thing to do,” Chancellor Steve Wrigley told lawmakers earlier this year. “It’s necessary to keep up with increased costs in a variety of areas. It’s important to help maintain quality.”

It still poses a hardship for students like Taylor Hudson. She’s a freshman at Georgia State University. The HOPE scholarship only covers some of her tuition.

 “I know I have to take out more loans,” she said. “So, other than that, I just hope for the best.”

There may be one silver lining. Student fees, which pay for some on-campus services, won’t go up at most schools next year.

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Information from: WABE-FM, http://www.wabe.org/

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